We must respect others' beliefs
Stabroek News
October 17, 2001

Dear Editor,

Permit me to join the debate on the distribution of "the Book Of Hope", and by extension proselytizing in our schools. Although I know that the day will come when every human being will come to know the true living God of the universe, it is both insensitive and divisive for any religious organization to distribute unsolicited literature.

Our schools being secular, must remain so for the good of all and sundry. If not it could further polarize us, this time along religious lines. This would be unfortunate for our children, since they are the ones that will suffer the most. Let us not allow ourselves to disintegrate, like some parts of Nigeria where religious strife can turn deadly.

We are a nation of various religious persuasions, therefore we must respect each others' beliefs and opinions to the point where we do not force our individual position on someone else. Instead, Christians should be a witness to the world in words and deeds, but they must also know that God is the one who invokes that spirit of change that leads to one becoming a follower of Christ. Therefore God must be allowed to make the first move.

Also, Christians should work towards erasing the view, in some quarters, that contempt is heaped on other religious beliefs.

We must have faith in God that he will do his will, with his own timetable and not ours.

Again this does not subtract us from the equation of spreading the word of God. Children are entrusted unto to us so that we as

parents can guide them towards being fruitful (in every aspect of life) adults. Parents must be allowed to choose for their younger ones the way they should go, and handing out these materials in the way that has been done can be seen as circumventing the authority of each parent that does not agree with this practise.

I wish that the Bible can be taught in all schools, because i believe it contains a complete guide to an abundant life and would eliminate a great deal of the ills in our society.

Yet I am mindful of the opposing view and respectful of the fact that contentious issues should be dealt with individually. The God of the Bible has always given humans a choice, who are we to do otherwise.

Yours faithfully,

Shon Adams