When I was working and living in Indonesia, such a predominantly Muslim country, I worked in an international company and our staff consisted of many religions - Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Lutherans to name a few. The reason I know the various religions is because we were able to join in and celebrate with so many of them. The respect that was afforded to each other as celebrations occurred and were acknowledged, as religious traditions were observed, was simply inspiring. There never appeared to be hatred, angst or difficulty in facilitating all the needs of each faith. I never experienced attempts to convince me I should convert to any of the religions. What happened was, I was invited along with others to join the celebrations, embraced with generosity and love was shared.
Over the years, through our circles of friends and travels, Tez and I have been privileged to share celebrations and traditions with numerous people of different faiths and we have learnt so much about other beliefs and cultures.
When I received my cancer diagnosis while living in Indonesia, I soon learnt that many people were praying for me. The greetings I received from so many, sharing their well wishes and telling me they were praying for me was humbling, to say the least. So many different religions mentioned and all of them praying to their own faith.
The messages were sent to me in a book. A book, so filled with love and caring, heart felt wishes of comfort and recovery, that I still treasure it to this day.
The religions I have observed through so many encounters, with so many people, don’t teach hate and terror and violence.