Compassion is extremely important, regardless of an individual’s background.
That was the message at the 14th annual World Religions Conference, which was held at Red Deer College’s Arts Centre on Thursday evening.
“The goal is to bring people together … and focus on the commonalities that we share,” said Malik Agyemang, one of the event organizers.
The conference speakers were Paritosh Ghosh, presenting the Hindu perspective, Pastor Dan Cochrane, representing the Christian perspective, Carrie Dennett, offering the secular perspective, and Imam Asif Arif, representing the Islamic perspective.
The speakers discussed the topic of universal compassion, “which we believe cuts across all religions. It highlights what we have in common rather than our differences,” said Agyemang.
“If you look at the world we live in today, it’s clear we need more compassion. There are thousands and thousands of people suffering.
“It helps just to reach out and give somebody a helping hand … and let people know that even if they are down, there is hope.”
Speakers were given 20 minutes to discuss the topic. This was followed by a question and answer session.
The conference has grown over the years, Agyemang said.
“The first year, we were in a small room at RDC, wondering if we’d even be able to fill the space. Over the years, we’ve moved to a bigger hall that has a capacity of probably about 500,” he said.
Donations were accepted for the Students’ Association of RDC Food Bank.
“We’ve been doing really well with that and have received a lot of non-perishable food donations for the food bank,” said Agyemang.