‘Make religions tools of peace’

The exhibit is a collaborative effort between the Global Ethics Foundation (GEF) in Tubingen, Germany, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), and the Malaysian Interfaith Network (MIN). It was also featured Saturday at the Entertainment Plaza Shoe Mart Mall here.

"If we do not adhere to a common belief, how we can co-exist?" said Peter Scheir, an independent consultant on common values education, inter-religious and interethnic relations, and conflict prevention.

The exhibition calls for recognition that religion can be a source of peace and unity among diverse cultures if only people understand that they all share a common standard for ethics.

This interfaith educational project wants its viewers to develop a better knowledge of the common moral values and ethical standards which all world religions share.

Schier said that "various religions of humankind adhere to common ethical standards by which all religions share".

He told reporters that conflicts arise because of a lot of misunderstandings about "our faith and other faiths as well".

"You have the right to be convinced with your own religion. But nobody can claim that your religion is the best one," he said.

For Schier, every religion holds the same value and that it should follow ethical standards. Their common values comprise the values taught everywhere, every time, and to all people, such as the golden rule, he said.

The golden rule is "treat others the way you want to be treated", he added.

The exhibition will highlight several world religions' common values and ethics that may lead towards a concept of a "global ethic".

According to Schier, it will demonstrate world religions "commonalities, and characteristics, and further promote unity in diversity".

It features 26 points which examines several world religions such as Hinduism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, the Baha'l Faith, and indigenous spiritualities as well.

Klaus Preschle, country representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) to the Philippines, said in a statement that "the exhibition invites visitors to explore the fascinating world of religions so that the people can have a better understanding of the importance of their ethical messages in our present-day society".

This is the first time that this exhibition will be displayed in the Philippines, and the first city to showcase the exhibit is Davao. Manila will be the second venue.