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Taiwan's Museum of World Religions Hosts Seminar on Water

Taiwan's pioneering Museum of World Religions recently hosted a seminar on the Spiritual and Ecological Signficance of Water. A short report on the seminar and the museum follows.

By Taiwan Church News

The Museum of World Religions in Taipei hosted a seminar on the Spiritual and Ecological Significance of Water from 6 to 12 November. The Rev. Lim Sin-to, a Presbyterian clergyman, said, "This event calling on religious groups to comment on water resources offers each religion an opportunity to show its own human resource and wisdom capacity. Giving each group an arena to address the issue from its own standpoint shows the concern that people of faith have and gives us an opportunity for interfaith dialogue and exchange.

According to Rev. Lim this is the first time in Taiwan's history that religions have come together as religious groups to hold an interfaith seminar on a focused issue. He did not conceal his enthusiasm for the prospect of having every religion on Taiwan represented at such an event of interchange.

According to United Nations' statistics, by the year 2025 three fourths of the world's landmass will have water resource problems. This brings serious challenges to people of faith. Rev. Lim calls for Christians to face the future based on the Biblical principles of justice and peace.

Access to healthy drinking water for people around the world has recently become a critical concern amongst many interreligious groups. At the recent Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona, Spain, the theme of "access to safe water" was one of four issues highlighted throughout the conference. Dharma Master Hsin Tao, founder of the Museum of World Religions, was amongst those committing to promote water quality issues at the Parliament's conclusion, pledging to "reduce water pollution by promoting care and concerns from the public to the government of Taiwan and create trust and commitments between all religions in Taiwan."

The Museum opened in November of 2001 with exhibits featuring most of the world's major religions and two rotating displays on ancient and indigenous religions (beginning with Egyptian and Mayan beliefs). Master Hsin Tao, originally of Burmese origin, says that "[t]he Museum of World Religions belongs to all faiths. Its founding is inspiring and encouraging interfaith dialogue so that we all work together to create peace and understanding in the world we share."

Portions of this article were derived from the Taiwan Church News, issue #2751, 11/21/2004, as distributed through the "http://www.wfn.org/2004/11/msg00147.html">Worldwide Faith News Archive.

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