Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – The people of Tibet and the Tibetan Government-in-exile “entirely agree with His Holiness the Pope that religious freedom is the path of peace,” said Samdhong Rinpoche, the exiled Tibetan prime minister (kalon tripa) as he spoke to AsiaNewsabout the papal message for World Peace Day, traditionally marked on 1 January.
In the message, titled ‘Religious freedom, path to peace,’ the Pontiff said, “Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance.”
According to Prof Rinpoche, it is particularly appropriate “that His Holiness the Pope has announced the 2nd Congregation of religious heads at Assisi to discuss how they can promote world peace. This positive approach will herald peace among religions, hence among nations.”
The Tibetan people, the prime minister added, is deeply “anguished at the violence and suffering unleashed on Christians in the Middle East during the holy season of Christmas. All violence is bad, but violence on the basis of religious domination is most deplorable.”
The purpose of religion, he concluded, “is to lift up humanity from the evils of greed, anger, deceit, power, [and] violence. [. . .] It is most dehumanising when humanity uses religion for division and violence.”