Interfaith symposium shares faith in the city

meridian by Jeff Peters —

Topics of religion can often be touchy, however with their latest Symposium, hosted at the Vic Juba Theatre, the Ahmadiyya Muslims of Lloydminster are challenging that assumption.
The group, which in the past has hosted a number of inter-faith symposiums brought, a challenging yet common question to their panel of guests this past Friday night.
The question of “Why God allows suffering” among those people of faith is certainly a tough question, and one that Akhtar Mirza, a member of the Lloydminster Ahmadiyya Muslim, admits is not going to be solved through the course of a two-hour symposium.
However it is the dialogue between faiths at the event which is the most important aspect of the symposium says Mirza.
“We have been going across the country and picking topics which most people think about. We are trying to get people thinking about this not just from a religious perspective,” said Mirza.
“I think for many the idea of needless suffering is something for people without faith will cite as the reason for not believing so we were trying to engage them as well,” said Mirza.
“And over all the objective is just to open a dialogue, and reinforce the idea that we are really not all that different,” said Mirza.
The two-hour long event brought together members, of the Jewish, Christian, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh faith.
The discussion varied from group to group, highlighting their own faiths take on the issue.
Kumar Balachandran, former president of the Hindu Society of Saskatchewan, a panel member representing those of the Hindu faith said that despite some differences on the whole each faith shared much in common.
“Regardless of where you stand religiously the answer to why God allows suffering is a common thread. I know that for my faith, Hinduism, it is apart of the reincarnation cycle and that through suffering one can learn and grow spiritually. So it is interesting to see the other perspectives,” said Balachandran.

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