Vatican’s “Id al-Fitr” message calling for an inter-faith effort to eradicate poverty is welcomed

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Hindus laud Vatican’s call for religious camaraderie on poverty front

Welcoming Vatican’s “Id al-Fitr” message calling for interfaith efforts in overcoming poverty, Hindus have urged all religions to come together on this issue and make poverty eradication a moral priority.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that poverty was a monumental crisis and biggest challenge facing world today and it should be dealt at an emergency level. Religions joining hands on this issue would be the most effective way to deal with it.

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, applauded Vatican’s message which talks about helping poor “to establish their place in the fabric of society”; combating poverty involving hunger, lack of clean water, limited medical care and inadequate shelter, insufficient educational and cultural systems, illiteracy, moral and spiritual poverty; and embracing of simple and essential lifestyle, avoiding waste and respecting the environment and the goodness of creation.

Rajan Zed pointed out that world religions should develop a global partnership to stamp out hunger and poverty, promote gender parity, battle AIDS and other diseases, bring about environment sustainability, and ensure universal basic education. Zed stressed that religions needed to redouble their efforts in poverty eradication as poverty and suffering were more pervasive than previously estimated. Economics, politics, and markets should also take an ethical approach.

Zed further said that problems like severe malnutrition; spiraling food prices; ineffectual government programs; lack of access to medical facilities, potable water, energy sources, sanitation; illiteracy; etc., required to be immediately dealt with world over. Poverty had lead to many other societal problems, which we faced today.

Rajan Zed warned that world should wake up to the magnitude of the emergency of poverty. Raising people above the poverty line was an achievable task. It just needed strong political and social will and should be treated as a crisis.

Religion was the most powerful and far-reaching force in our society and could prove very influential in handling common concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc., Rajan Zed added.

Zed praised Vatican for the call of “sharing a common commitment” to eradicate grave problems; and a global solidarity, for example through the adoption of a “common ethical code”. “The poor question us, they challenge us, but above all they invite us to cooperate in a noble cause: overcoming poverty”, Vatican’s message further says.

Roman Catholic Church, with headquarters in Vatican City, is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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