Diwali also famous as the “festival of lights,” is celebrated every year by the Hindus community from around the world in October or November with the dates being determined by the Hindu lunar calendar. This year it is taking place on October, 19.
The Vatican has sent a greeting to Hindus celebrating the Diwali festival with a message focused on how mutual respect can push to create a sound society.
Pontifical Council for Inter religious Dialogue stated “May this festival of lights illumine your minds and lives, bring joy to your hearts and homes, and strengthen your families and communities,”
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot pointed out the expansion of intolerance in the world and also said that tolerance on its own is not enough if lasting peace and true harmony are the objectives.
“What is also needed is genuine respect and appreciation for the diversity of cultures and customs within our communities, which in turn contribute to the health and unity of society as a whole,” said the statement.
“To see pluralism and diversity as a threat to unity leads tragically to intolerance and violence,” it warned.
“Respect for others is an important antidote to intolerance since it entails authentic appreciation for the human person, and his or her inherent dignity,”
“In the light of our responsibility to society, fostering such respect demands showing esteem for different social, cultural and religious customs and practices.”
The Vatican’s statement has been made amidst reports of rising intolerance towards India’s Christian minority by rigid Hindu groups. Following the 2014 general election when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power in New Delhi, several Hindu groups took this as a mandate to work for a Hindu-only India.