Date of Event: February 10, 2013
On Sunday afternoon the Buffalo Chapter of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held its 18thannual Interfaith Conference. The event was held from 2pm to 6 pm at The Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga, NY. The topic of discussion this year was “Religious Founders’ Day.” The Panel of speakers included religious leaders of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Sikhism.
Each of the six presenters spoke about the founder s and teachings of their respective religions. Presenters included Rabbi Alex Lazarus of the Congregation Shir Shalom, Dr. Vijay Chakravarthy of the Hindu Cultural Society, Mr. Ray Bail of the Zen Dharma Community, Reverend Gloria E. E. Payne-Carter of Rector St. Phillips Episcopal Church, Professor MohanDevgun of Buffalo State College, and Imam Naseem Mahdi, thei National Vice President of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
A common theme among many of the presentations was the idea that many of the religions had no single founder, but several key individuals who helped to shape them. Rev. Payne-Carter discussed the importance of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John as well as Jesus in the Founding of Christianity. Mr. Bail spoke about Suddartha (The Guddah), who did not want to be known for founding a religion, but did so in his journey to understand suffering and find “the middle way.”
After all of the guest speakers presented there was time allotted for questions, during which the speakers answered several questions from the perspective of their religions. All of the speakers noted that their religions respect the beliefs and teachings of all other religions and note that it is important for them all to work together in order to achieve a more peaceful society.