As part of UK's Interfaith Week, the London Buddhist Vihara organised a meeting on Friday 19th November 2022 at the Vihara auditorium. This year's Inter Faith Week took place from Sunday 13 - Sunday 20 November. The aims of the Inter Faith Network are to strengthen relations between different faith communities, through greater awareness, understanding and dialogue. Each year, Inter Faith Week begins on Remembrance Sunday, and runs until the following Sunday. Remembrance Sunday was chosen as a start day to encourage people to remember together the contributions of all faiths and none, and to consider how best to create a just, peaceful, and harmonious world. Inter Faith Week also ends on Mitzvah Day, an annual day of faith-based social action.
Faith leaders representing several religions including Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Islam took part in the evening programme.
This year's theme was " Lineage of the Sacred Texts "
Religious texts, including scripture, are texts which various religions consider to be of central importance to their religious tradition. They differ from literature by being a compilation or discussion of beliefs, mythologies, ritual practices, commandments or laws, ethical conduct, spiritual aspirations, and for creating or fostering a religious community.
The relative authority of religious texts develops over time and is derived from the ratification, enforcement, and its use across generations. Some religious texts are accepted or categorised as canonical, some non-canonical, and others extra-canonical, semi-canonical, second law-canonical, pre-canonical or post-canonical.
Most sacred scriptures were originally oral and were passed down through memorisation from generation to generation until they were finally committed to writing. A few are still preserved orally, such as the hymns of Native Americans. Many bear the unmistakable marks of their oral origin and can best be understood when recited aloud; in fact, it is still held by many Hindus and Buddhists that their scriptures lack, when read silently, the meaning and significance they have when recited aloud, for the human voice is believed to add to the recited texts dimensions of truth and power not readily grasped by the solitary reader.
Head of the London Buddhist Vihara and the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain Most Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera welcomed the guest speakers and the audience. Ven. Thawalama Bandula Thera from London Buddhist Vihar introduced the programme and the guest speakers.
Dr Harriet Crabtree, OBE Director of Interfaith Network UK, Most Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thera Head of London Buddhist Vihara, Mr. Jitu Bhai Vedic priest from The Hanuman Hindu Temple Brentford, Mrs.Charanjith Ajith Singh and Mr. Ajith Sing MBE with a member of Hounslow Friends of Faith, Dr.Vinod Kapasi, Trustee and Founding member of Mahavir Foundation and Pujya Samangi Prathibha, Mr. Mohammed Shoaib Producer Islam Channel UK, Father Brandon Fletcher-James St: Michael & All Angels Church, Erbad Yazad Bhadha a Zoroastrian Clergy and Dr Desmond Bidulph Chairman of Buddhist Society delivered enlightening speeches on the theme " Lineage of the Sacred Texts".
Meeting concluded with Mr. Amal Abewardhana, Co-ordinator of the London Buddhist Vihara, delivering the thank you speech. Gilampasa for the Maha Sangha and refreshments for the others present was followed.
The Interfaith Network for the UK was founded in 1987 to promote good relations between people of different faiths living in the United Kingdom. It's member organisations include representative bodies from the Buddhist, Bahai, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Islam, Sikh and Zoroastrian communities, National and local interfaith bodies, academic institutions and educational bodies concerned with inter religious issues. Former head of the London Buddhist Vihara late Most Ven. Dr. Medagama Vajiragnaana Nayaka Thera was a founder member of the Interfaith Network UK.