INTRODUCTION TO THE LAHTI INTERFAITH TASKFORCE

 

 

Communication and cooperation between different religions are especially important in a society which strives for openness and multiplicity. From the President Tarja Halonen’s motion the representatives of religions have met since 2001 on a national level to discuss about their common mission: how they could preventively influence hateful behavior in our country and reinforce speaking in a reconciling manner.

 

The Lahti Interfaith Taskforce strives to answer to this challenge on a local level. The Taskforce has acted since 2004 and has promoted openness and understanding and dialog between different religions in Lahti. The Taskforce’s aim is also to eliminate misconception and prejudice concerning different religions and prevent from using them as a basis for racism.

The Taskforce pursues social good by promoting peace and reconciliation between religions, religious communities and their members in Lahti.

 

Lahti Interfaith Taskforce principals

 

 

Religious communities in Lahti Interfaith Taskforce:

 

- Lahti Seventh-Day Adventist Church

- Lahti Baha’i  Community

- Lahti Baptist Mission

- Lahti Pentecostal Church

- Lahti Islamic Cultural Center

- Lahti Methodist Church

- Lahti Orthodox Church

- Lahti Evangelical Lutheran Parish Union

- Lahti Free Church

- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

- Roman Catholic  St. Ursula Congregation in Kouvola

 

 

Dialog and cooperation between religions

 

Dialog between religions means religions being in contact with each other. The dialog can happen on a local level, in everyday life or in some common activity.

The dialog is equal and interactive exchange of thoughts through conversations or writing. When commonly agreed goals are set to the dialog, it is goal-directed activity which promotes cooperation.

 

Cooperation offers to all sides a possibility to get such experiences of life, values and religions which could not be reached without dialog.

In the interaction with another religion the meaning of the identity of one’s religion becomes emphasized. Knowing one’s own religious roots makes it easier to meet with people from other religions. Cooperation and the real dialog can start when mutual knowledge increases and trust and respect are being built. The most important feature in the dialog is listening.