On Promoting Sectarian Harmony in the World
Combating sectarian fault lines is everybody’s responsibility – including those of Christians. While there is no doubt that the philosophy of Divide & Rule dominated the thinking of the British Raj, the success of which resulted in the bifurcation of India & Pakistan, such thoughts must not be allowed to take roots in the mindsets of any religious community in modern times – including those of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. Specific to Christianity, one must not forget that Christ restrained His disciples from stopping other people, who happened to be casting out demons / evil spirits in His name, with His Words in St. Mark 9:40, “For whoever is not against Us, is For Us”.
Anyway, I am glad to know that the British Orthodox Church (BOC) and its Web Administrators are taking keen interest in the postings made in websites connected to the Indian Orthodox Church. So what if such interest is with a view to try and control / reformat the common man in India; can old habits die easy? By the way, given that the western world is fighting alongside the rebels in Syria, the common citizens of the world does wonder as to the ‘positive’ action that they have taken in freeing the two bishops held hostage by fellow fighters in Syria. Matters have already gotten out of their hand – insofar as controlling the rebels are concerned; is it? So should mankind expect a new al Qaida to take shape from Syria next?
Anyway, the inputs from BOC would have been music to the ears of control freaks, if any, among us. It also drives home the point about the significance of judicious and just use of social media for promoting spiritual values & peace in the world by cutting across various boundaries, including those of denominations / sects. One must not forget that a true Christian’s battle is not with individuals, but with principalities & powers of evil that could infiltrate the mindsets of even the noblest of mankind.
Moving forward, the need to avoid the modern day pitfalls is not limited only to Christian communities; it holds true even for the Muslim world as well. While there may be serious fractures worldwide along sectarian lines among (say the Shias and Sunnis, for one) them, the time has arrived for their top spiritual leaderships to work alongside their political ones, and arrive at a common vision for sorting out their differences, and have peaceful co-existence. This will be beneficial to their people, their children, the Middle Eastern region, and the world at large.
Considering that mankind has the ability to annihilate the earth many times over with the kind of weapons it possesses, the profile of true leadership in the world is slowly changing in favour of such countries / leaders who have peace-making abilities and moderate viewpoints. The UN’s preeminence would also depend on how far it manages to restrain itself from being subservient to super-powers, and promote a more equitable world order. It will also do well by focusing on encouraging sectarian harmony in the world, by enabling a common platform to bring political & religious leaders together for sorting out sectarian issues. In any case, the UN cannot shy away from its responsibility of ensuring a just Rule of Law among nations, should it want to stay relevant in the eyes of world citizens.
Last but not the least, for lasting peace in this world, there can be no denying that countries such as Israel need to tone down their rhetoric (and muscle-flexing) and come to the negotiating table based on a two-state formula. At the very least, their children deserve lasting peace, and so does the world community. No doubt, unlearning aggression and learning reconciliation does not come easy and takes time. Still, this is probably the best opportunity for them to haul themselves over to learn new behaviours. The international community also needs to get behind this matter and seek a peaceful resolution acceptable for all parties, and keep hoping that better sense prevails. After all, from a Christian standpoint, wasn’t Christ emphatic in stating upfront during his time, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God.”?
Yours in Christ!