The Vatican issued a message Tuesday to welcome the Hindu Diwali holiday, stressing that cooperation among various religions was an important factor in relief efforts for the Indian Ocean tsunami. The message was issued by the Vatican's office for Inter-Religious Dialogue, an active Vatican arm in the Roman Catholic Church's efforts to spur cooperation among religions, the AP reports.
"Teams of relief workers belonging to different religious traditions have been tireless in working to alleviate immediate suffering and to initiate construction," said the message for the Festival of Lights.
Cooperation is particularly valuable, it said, "at a time when aggressive secularism would seem to be on the increase and respect for basic human values often appears to be on the decline." A.M.