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30-08-2008 Inter-Religious Dialogue PDF Print E-mail

Inter-Religious Dialogue:

Tolerance and Compassion towards Persons of Different Faiths

3rd Festival on Nonviolence

30 August 2008, at Yala Rajabhat University




            The violence in the three southern border provinces has caused death and damage to property of soldiers, police officers and innocent people who are Buddhists and Muslims. Differences in religious believes are sometimes used as a justification for violent struggle.  Many a time, religious teachings and practices are interpreted and misused in the way that could lead to the escalation of violence.

            Religious teachings and practices actually and magnificently enrich one’s life and spirit and lead one’s life into harmonious co-existence with others. If religion could be used to encourage understanding, love, compassion, trust, justice, and truth, it would build up people’s confidence that religion will help to bring peace back into the three southern border provinces.

            Dialogue is one of the processes which creates communication space for people from different backgrounds. Inter-religious dialogue provides an opportunity for ‘deep listening’ in order to learn from each other about the differences in religious believes and practices. It creates empathy that may lead to the overcoming of prejudice, and to tolerance and compassion towards people of different faiths.

            Therefore, the 3rd Festival on Nonviolence, organized by Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC), Mahidol University’s Research Center for Peace Building (MURP) and network of nonviolence organizations, see it as a good opportunity to organize an inter-religious dialogue with the participation of religious leaders who are Buddhists, Muslims and Christians in Thailand and from neighboring countries. It is hopeful that this dialogue forum will enhance tolerance and compassion towards people of different faiths thus reduces conflict and builds peace in the southern border provinces and in the region.



  1. To create space for people of different faiths from Thailand and neighboring countries to learn and exchange experiences on how to use religion to reduce conflict.
  2. To create understanding about tolerance and compassion towards persons of different faiths.
  3. To correct the misunderstanding that some religious teachings condone violence.
  4. To encourage cooperation for peace among people of different faiths both in Thailand and neighboring countries.

Expected outcome

            The expected outcome is to obtain recommendations to the religious faithfuls on how to increase tolerance and compassion toward persons of different faiths both within Thailand and neighboring countries.

Date/Time      30th  August 2008, from 9.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

Venue             Yala Rajabhat University, Yala Province, Thailand




09.00-09.15                                 Welcome address and presentation of dialogue guideline
by Assist. Prof. Dr. Parichart Suwanbubbha
Deputy Director, Mahidol University’s Research Center for Peace Building

09.15-10.30                 Dialogue on Tolerance and Compassion towards Persons of
Different Faiths by local religious leaders

10.30-11.30                 Discussion among religious leaders and participants

11.30-13.30                 Lunch break and Prayer

13.30-14.15                 Dialogue on Tolerance and Compassion towards Persons of
Different Faiths by religious leaders from neighboring countries and other parts of Thailand

14.15-15.15                 Discussion among religious leaders and participants

15.15-15.30                 Conclusion and recommendation on the roles of persons of different faiths in conflict situation


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Research Center for Peace Building (Old) Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University
999 Puthamonthon 4th Road, Salaya, Puthamonthon, Nakornpathom 73170 Thailand
Tel: +662 849 6072-5 Fax: +662 849 6075
Email: pewww@mahidol.ac.th