About BIRD Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (BIRD) is an organization, founded in 2001 by a group of concerned individuals – Christians, Hindus and Muslims – and dedicated to promote inter-faith peace and dialogue when religious fundamentalism and fanaticism threaten to tear our country apart. Since its inception in 2001, BIRD has been providing a platform for addressing those issues, which are the causes for religious tension and resentment. Towards that end, BIRD conducts seminars, meetings and dialogues between religious and community leaders to ensure harmony between followers of different faiths. It holds an annual lecture series in memory of Rev. Dr Stanley Samartha, who took pride in always affirming that he was "a Hindu by culture, Christian by faith, Indian by citizenship and ecumenical by choice".
The Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (BIRD) is a little lamp to signify that whatever the darkness, however profound the sense of lostness, the light of God’s love – be it Ram, Allah or Jesus – and the clarity of their enlightenment still shines and will continue to shine for those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to love and a soul to believe in. BIRD provides a platform for addressing issues that are causes for religious and communal tension and resentment. BIRD believes that:
1) religious attitude is a thing of permanent value to humankind, individually and collectively;
2) there is an urgent need for a full and free exchange of different religious experiences in a spirit of mutual respect, appreciation and sympathy;
3) an exchange and sharing of experiences will lead to an enrichment of one another’s religious life, mutual respect, understanding, tolerance and cooperation in tackling personal, social and national problems;
4) the bases of sharing such convictions and experiences with one another are equality, mutual respect and acceptance of the validity of each other’s faith.BIRD is convinced that only through inter-religious dialogue can the recurring tension between religious groups and communities be diffused. P.N.BENJAMIN Coordinator Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (BIRD) e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org