Dear Hindu Friends,

We join you in the celebration of Deepavali, sending you sincere greetings and congratulations.

Deepavali is a time for rejoicing and renewal as Hindus all over the world celebrate the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness that culminates with the beginning of the Hindu New Year.

As Christians, we share your joy in this “Festival of Lights” and are reminded of the need for deep reflection, reconciliation and renewal of faith.

We value your friendship, dear Hindu friends, and we are proud of our ties with the Hindu community – one that has been cultivated, strengthened and enhanced over the years. Together we can achieve much towards the common good of our society.

Christians and Hindus share much in common. On this occasion we are united with you in the celebration of the “victory of truth over falsehood” and of “life over death”. Both communities have their roots firmly planted in the fundamentals of love and respect, through which our personal and communal ties are richly nourished.

The Catholic Church has always placed great emphasis on inter-religious dialogue and relations. Through the conscientious efforts of both groups, mutual trust and respect have been developed and sustained through the years.

This shared conviction fosters even deeper interpersonal ties between the two communities.

Such an understanding is fundamental to the peace and harmony we enjoy today. Indeed, the values of “trust” and “respect” – the twin pillars of our friendship, is the foundation upon which our nation is built.

The fruit of these efforts is the readiness and willingness to constantly seek closer ties, understanding and cooperation to better address the challenges of our times.

Recent incidents have revealed that deep racial fault lines and undertones of discord still exist in our society. Delicate and fragile at best, constant vigilance is needed to maintain a harmonious environment conducive to growth, progress and common good.

Everyone has a stake in this collective effort. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “Let us together become artisans of peace, in a reciprocal commitment to understanding, respect and love.” Pope John Paul II on his first visit to India had said: “Dialogue between members of different religions increases and deepens mutual respect and paves the way for relationships that are crucial in solving the problems of human suffering.”

As a people who seek truth and light with sincere hearts, let us hold in common the well-being of all individuals and communities – using every means in our power to build an environment rich in respect, trust and co-operation.

Dear friends, on this occasion of Deepavali, we are spiritually united with you, joining hands in our shared responsibility of upholding mutual trust and understanding.

May God, the source of all light, illumine your minds, enlighten your hearts and strengthen the bonds in your homes and communities for a life of peace and prosperity.

We wish you a joyful Deepavali!

Yours in Christ,
Archbishop Nicholas Chia

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