11/10/2001

Exhibition celebrates NI’s religious diversity

An exhibition that celebrates religious diversity within Northern Ireland has been launched in Hillsborough Castle.

The ‘In Good Faith’ Exhibition launched on Thursday October 11 is one of 14 major projects taking place as part of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s Diversity 21 initiative.

The exhibition celebrates the culture and religious doctrines of eight main religious groups represented in Northern Ireland: Bahà’ìs, Buddhists, Chinese, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs.

In his introduction at the launch of the ‘In Good Faith’ Exhibition on Thursday morning, Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum explained: “This colourful and informative exhibition is going to be instrumental in helping people to understand the religious diversity which exists in Northern Ireland. Catholic and Protestant denominations belong to the same religion – Christianity – which is only one part of the religious tapestry which makes up what is, in fact, a truly multicultural Northern Ireland.”

Also speaking at the launch was Mark Adair of the Community Relations Council who told the audience: “Faith matters. It is an essential part of many people’s lives and provides them with a sense of comfort, challenge and community, based on a relationship with God. We have many different views on religion and not all of them are compatible. Diversity only becomes divisive when we make it so.

Other speakers at the event included Rev Maurice Ryan of the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum and Bert Tosh, Chief Producer, Religion at BBC Northern Ireland.

The exhibition will be on display widely across the Province. Current confirmed venues include: Upper Bann Institute, Banbridge; Cardinal O’Fiaich Library, Armagh; Verbal Arts Centre, Derry; and Donaghadee, Omagh and Holywood Libraries. (AMcE)

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