Buddhists and Christians from various countries gathered together in Bangkok, Thailand, from 13 to 16 November to participate in the Seventh Buddhist-Christian Colloquium at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. The fruit of a collaboration between the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand and the hosting university, this year’s theme was “Karunā and Agape in Dialogue for Healing a Wounded Humanity and the Earth”.
In a statement released on Sunday, 12 November, the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue explained that the Colloquium had the aim of reaffirming “friendship and reciprocal understanding built through dialogue with Buddhist partners throughout the world and, in particular, in Thailand”, and identifying “common actions to heal the wounds of humanity and the planet”.
Among the countries represented at the event were Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
In the Final statement released on Thursday, 16 November, all attendees agreed “that today’s humanity is living in a rapidly changing world, with positive and negative consequences for the human family and the earth ... people all over the world are facing a multitude of global challenges from which no one is completely immune”.
Now more than ever, the statement continues, “working together is needed and with a great sense of responsibility”. Agreement was reached “on the following shared actions: Acknowledge; Dialogue; Cultivate; Cooperate; Innovate; Educate and Pray”.
The final statement expressed gratitude to the organisers for the spiritual atmosphere at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University and “for the Thai hospitality that helped them engage with one another with friendship and respect”. It also “affirmed the ardent desire to work together to implement the fruits of this Colloquium in their respective regions”.
The Eighth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in 2025.