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ANTONY Christy, Chennai says,
Praying with other Religions - the Problematics!
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Chennai, Jan. 21. Praying with people of other faiths in a multi religious context like that of India, is a current issue with the National Seminar just over at Bangalore. There are a few problematics that strike me as I wrestle with its possibilities.

Back from the National Seminar on Praying with Children in a multicultural context, I would like to speak up on a few problematics it poses! In any praying together, the basic problems are whether we share the symbols, the symbolics, the icons and the rites. A real praying together is ``worshiping in Spirit and Truth`` (Jn 4:23 )as Jesus would have it. That is the key.

In this, as it was in Jesus` times, the first and greatest block (i refrain from using the word `enemy`)is THE INSTITUTION! Jesus would have said it boldly, if we think he had not. As long as there are fixed symbols, rules and rubrics, sharing symbols or accepting symbols from other traditions is many a times considered a compromise! As long as there is an institutional form of religion in perfect control, praying can not be an Inter Religious Practice, lest praying becomes a mere extraneous activity.

Praying together infact is a SPIRITUALITY and not a Religious Practice. Can a institutionally bound religious person meaningfully participate in a inter religious prayer moment, keeping aside his or her clear cut definitions and demarcations? Doesnt it present a problematic to reckon with?  

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