what difference does interfaith dialogue make for peoples engaged in religious conflits around the world.
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There is no doubt that interfaith dialogue would help to solve conflicts around the world if only people would spend the time to understand one another. But many people's opinions are so set concerning this issue (example: Islam vs. Judaism), that there is little likelihood that any significant change will occur in the near future.
Interfaith dialogue is very important in helping to resolve religious conflicts all around the world because often followers learn by the example of their leaders, pastors and religious teachers. If the preacher or religious teacher is seen to engage with other religious leaders from different faiths then this is a good example for the people - they will hopefully learn to be tolerant, understanding and amenable. Unfortunately, hatred, prejudice and bigotry is just as easy to spread and religious preachers who spread suspicion and lies are just as powerful if they are allowed to go beyond the boundaries of freedom of speech by "inciting religious hatred."
It would be really hard to prove this question one way or the other. First, you would have to identify all the times that interfaith dialogue has been used. Then, you would have to have some way of measuring its impact. Then you would have to look at whether some of the dialogue was done "right," etc.
So you can't really answer this question definitively.
Theoretically, dialogue is supposed to help by allowing different sides to see each others' points of view. This would make the more tolerant and less likely to fight. I am not at all confident that it works, however.
All interfaith dialogues directed at understanding the point of view of the the person different religious affiliations and beliefs can do no harm. It can only do some good.
However if these dialogues are seen as an opportunities improve the infidel, or to justify and prove your point, then thins start to get out of hands.
The worst things happen when these dialogues get converted in contests to establish superiority of your ones own religion over those of others. This is the kind of dialogue in which both parties to the dialogue talk but no one really listens.
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