IN a time when the world press seems to be dominated by stories of cultural and religious tensions, the local Ahmadiyya Muslim and Mormon communities continue to shine a beacon of hope.
On Saturday, August 20, the two religious communities came together in the spirit of interfaith harmony to participate in an interfaith sports day.
Ahmadiyya media co-ordinator Zain Al-Abideen said this historic event served to further unite the two communities through their youth and mutual love of sports.
On July 3, the two congregations participated in an interfaith dinner during Ramadhan, the Islamic month of fasting.
“Through sports both groups had the opportunity to get to know the names of each other on a closer level and have an opportunity to laugh together,” he said.
The event was praised by Councillor Laurie Koranski, who attended it.
“It was a tremendous afternoon of solidarity between the Logan Ahmadiyya community and Karawatha Mormon Church,” she said.
Caleb Timu, media co-ordinator of the Karawatha Mormon Church, where the event opened and closed with prayer and blessings said it was seen as day filled with fun and a greater understanding and appreciation of each other and their own valued beliefs.
“These types of events break down barriers and promotes greater understanding of each other, the things we do that are similar as well as the things we do and believe that are different in both formal and informal settings,” Mr Timu said.
“Most importantly there are friendships that are made and more peace in the community.”
Mr Al-Abideen said he had held high expectations for the interfaith sports day, which the event exceeded.
“It was heart-warming to be playing sports, having laughs and building bonds in an interfaith environment,” he said.
“These sort of activities is what we need where community ties are built and we get to know each other.
“This is how ignorance that leads to fear can be minimised.
Logan Ahmadiyya community’s secretary for external affairs, Ahsin Waris said whenever interfaith events were held, members from both faiths were encouraged to openly ask questions to reduce misunderstandings.
“With every religion we try to find the similarities and celebrate them,” he said.
“With the LDS church we found that youth is a key focus and fasting is a fundamental of both religions."
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