Engage non-religious in dialogue to promote tolerance

Dr Mathew Mathews, in his commentary ("Time to engage the non-religious in dialogue"; March 15), called for greater sensitivity among the religious and those with no religious affiliations.

His suggestion to engage the non-religious in dialogue will open a new channel to promote:

- Religious literacy;

- Tolerance towards other faiths and their practices;

- Inter-religious discussions on the varied customs and practices at various levels of society to understand their significance and meaningfulness; and

- Mutual respect and a liberal perspective when two people of different religions get married.

Practising a religion in which you have faith is a private affair and no one can question it.

The trouble starts when there are public displays or pronouncements by so-called leaders of the faith misleading the believing innocent adherents.

It is time that we started a dialogue by talking openly and finding out where religion pinches the individual and where it protects.

Anandi Ramanathan (Dr)