Thursday, January 1, 2015

We Can Co-Exist!

Kerala, a state in Southern India along the Arabian Sea, 

has long been known for its religious diversity and harmony.  


A message: Swami Sandeepanandagiri, Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Catholicos and Palayam Imam Jamaludeen Mankada at an Iftar party at the Palayam Mosque in the city on Tuesday. — Photo: C. Ratheeshkumar
Swami Sandeepanandagiri, Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Catholicos and Palayam Imam Jamaludeen Mankada at an Iftar party at the Palayam Mosque. — Photo: C. Ratheeshkumar

Kerala, like India as a whole, has a rich and ancient history of religious diversity.  This diversity reaches its pinnacle in Kerala, where they have a proud history of religious harmony.  The spice trade, which started possibly as early as 3000 BC, brought people of many nationalities and religions to the region.  Some found the landscape, climate, and communities irresistible and they made new homes in the area.  Others stayed primarily for business reasons, establishing services and infrastructure to support trading and shipping businesses.  These emigrants all brought their religions with them, which contributed to the religious diversity of the region. 


Keep scrolling for the DVD info.  It's down near the bottom . . .


" . . .  people of all communities and ethnic backgrounds have amicably co-existed for centuries, enriching each other's lives."   

Kerala, India--Festival Time!

Above photo and quote from Reji on Flicker.   Click here for both more information and photos.


"Kerala shines with a lot of positive feature. 100% literacy (the only state in India with that record), high living standards matching to many West European countries, progress in the fields of education, health care, social uplift, etc.


"But above all, what makes Kerala a unique place is the communal harmony among its citizens. It is very much important when Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike have a strong presence here."

Sunil Kumar Kunnothm, click here for more information.


"Kerala has a unique record in India for the harmonious coexistence of diverse religions. Hindus, Christians and Muslims are the major religious communities of the state, although a small population of Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews and some others are also present."


File:Church in Kochi India.jpg
When you drive around Kerala you see Churches, Temples, and Mosques.

Praying for Peace, Harmony, and Co-Existence in the New Year!


We can Imagine Peace!


I first learned about Kerala in the DVD, 'Hidden India, The Kerala Spicelands,' which I picked up on a whim at my local library.  While the focus is more on food and farming; religious diversity and harmony were mentioned.  If you like exploring cultures and beautiful scenery, request this DVD from the library or where ever you normally rent movies. (HMc)

Boycott for Peace!


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  1. "Solidarity between the Christian minority and Muslim majority is growing in Gaza as both suffer under the Israeli offensive, with churches sheltering all religions and prayers being offered up on all sides"

    Highlight the URL and then right click to open the website.

  2. The US, also, is actually quite spiritually diverse:

    "We are surprised to find that there are more Muslim Americans than Episcopalian, more Muslims than members of the Presbyterian Church USA, and as many Muslims aw there are Jews--that is, about six million."

    Diana L. Eck, 'A New Religious America,' non-fiction.

  3. "There is no child labor in one part of India, surprising as it may be, in the state of Kerala. . . . The reason is not hard to find. Due to continuous efforts of the enlightened government of Kerala, there is almost universal literacy and extensive social services with a population fully aware of their rights. The government has implemented full-scale land reforms (only one other state in India, West Bengal, has implemented land reforms), which has absorbed landless agricultural laborers. New schools were opened everywhere, trade unions are encouraged and the minimum wage laws are implemented. Enrollment in schools is free and free school meals encourage poor families to send their children. The minimum wage, which is higher than anywhere in India, allows parents to survive without their children having to go out to work. Anyone who has not enrolled his son or daughter in school comes under pressure from other villagers. There are extensive facilities for adult education. In this way every inhabitant in Kerala gets used to reading newspapers and takes an active interest in protecting their rights."

    Highlight and then right click the URL to open the article.

  4. " . . . in the Stamford Hill neighbourhood of Hackney, north London, where Europe's largest concentration of Haredi Jews and a substantial Muslim minority share the same streets, community leaders of both faiths said they stood united.

    "The Jewish community and the Muslim community are facing difficult times at the moment, but it is not a case of them or us. We are all in the same boat," Munaf Zeena, chairman of the North London Muslim Community Centre, told Al Jazeera.

    "We have a big Jewish community here, and they have been victims in Paris. I think we have a responsibility to make sure that those who feel uncomfortable or unsafe feel supported. It is our role to give them that moral support and to stand by them in every way we can."

    "Rabbi Herschel Gluck, a veteran international conflict mediator and founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum, a local initiative established in 2000, said Jews and Muslims were "not just living side by side".

    "There is a palpable feeling of warmth when one sees members of the other community in the street or going about our business," Gluck told Al Jazeera. "It is not just that we tolerate each other. We actually engage constructively as very good neighbours with each other."

    Highlight and then right click the URL to open the article.