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Hindus laud Austria for hosting international interfaith Forum

Hindus have welcomed mainly Roman Catholic Austria for hosting two-day high-profile Global Forum in Vienna, bringing together experts from the world-over to have intercultural and interreligious dialogue.

"It is a step in the right direction for Austria", Hindu statesman Rajan Zed stated in Nevada (USA) today.

Titled "Responsible Leadership in Diversity and Dialogue", this "5th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC)" is being held on February 27-28. It will reportedly revolve around the issues of religious freedom, religious pluralism, interaction among religious groups, media pluralism, migration, integration, etc.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that despite our seriously different traditions, we should learn to live together in mutual trust and peace. Dialogue would bring us mutual enrichment and help us overcome prejudices passed on to us by previous generations.

Rajan Zed pointed out that religion was a complex component of our lives and its broader and more inclusive understanding was needed.

Zed thanked efforts of Dr. Michael Spindelegger, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria; and Jorge Sampaio, High Representative of UNAOC;  for promoting through this Forum cultural diversity and integrity, inclusivity and pluralism; aiming at  peace and social progress.

Marc Scheuer is director of UNAOC, a UN political initiative, which aims to improve understanding and cooperation across cultures and religions and, in the process, to help counter forces that fuel polarization.

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