We are one race- the race of humanity. We are all one creation and as such, we are all connected. We all equally share in the responsibilities and experiences of glory upon this earth, and we each share equally share in the experiences of pain upon this earth.
As human beings we each have the right to live harmoniously, and to choose freely our religious beliefs and doctrine- or to not choose religious belief. While we may have these rights, a large and growing percentage of people are being persecuted for their beliefs. It is currently estimated that 500 million people, live in places where they are being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Our religious freedom is protected by both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and two subsequent UN declarations. There are some groups that refuse to condemn persecution on the grounds that it’s a “God-imposed” test of faith to be endured rather than an evil to be resisted. But this misguided perspective both insults and disrespects God, and displays an insensitivity to victims of attack, torture, and discrimination.
I am one of those individuals. I am being persecuted for my religious beliefs and lifestyle- operating a spiritually based healing center. I honour and follow Buddhist traditions and customs, rather than conform to Christian religion. I deeply honour and respect all religious beliefs and views and I maintain that at their core, they all hold similar values.
I have a right to live harmoniously, honouring and observing my belief structures; just as you have a right to yours. I have a right to share in the glory and bounty of this earth; as do you and every other human being. As a Christian your religious doctrine teaches “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34.
To my attackers I say: “Your lack of love, respect, and religious intolerance is unacceptable”. You persecute and attack me for my beliefs; yet I perceive your acts as feeble attempts of “control and power”. I am saddened that you lack the depth and understanding of who I am as a human being, and who we are as one divinely connected human race. According to Buddhist philosophy, happiness is the result of an enlightened mind whereas suffering is caused by a distorted mind. A distorted mind, in contrast to an enlightened mind, is one that is not in tune with reality. (His Holiness the Dalai Lama).
Buddhist teachings are those of peace, compassion and love. I offer you love and compassion, as I do for all sentient beings. Our greatest gifts can be offered to each other when we find common ground to share our views and values; honour and respect each other, and live harmoniously.
I send prayers for your healing and well-being, and release from your own inner pain and demons.