The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and LDS Charities gives humanitarian help around the world to people in need regardless of personal beliefs. India is a land of wonderful heritage with diversity in culture and faith. Here is a personal story of the diversity that exists in the beautiful country from Raj Samson, who lives in Bangalore.
“While I was growing up, my family lived in a house that was a part of a long stretch of 12 homes. Behind our house was a similar set of houses. We had large open spaces to play and move around.
On the left of our home was a Hindu family and on the right was a Muslim family. I grew up with Hindu and Muslim neighbors. Our parents were friendly to my neighbors and we children followed their example. We played, spent time together and enjoyed our companionships. We helped each other in times of need. It could be money, moral support and sometimes just listening.
Festivals were celebrated by all of us. It if was a Hindu festival, we also made goodies that go with the festival. If it was a Muslim festival, similar goodies were made at home. During festivities, food was exchanged freely between our families. This helped me to grow up appreciating other religions. More than religion, it was friendship, brotherhood, respect for each other, helping each other in times of need. Growing up, we did not have any other feelings than just respect and friendship.
My belief of respecting other religions was shaped because of these childhood experiences. I have a deep appreciation for religions other than the one that I follow. India is a land of religions, complementing each other and co-existing together. It is a great achievement because people are free and open to ideas that can help them be closer to God.
I love my religion and I feel confident in life and know there is a God who cares for all of us. I believe respecting other religions will create harmony amongst us. God created us and asked us to love each other. We can show that love by being friends with all.”