Public and Cultural Diplomacy
Under the practice of cultural diplomacy, the most common practice is “inter-faith dialogue”, between different actors and groups across the country. Interaction among various actors belonging to different religions or cultures is pivotal for engendering tolerance among the communities. The aim is to understand different cultures, faiths, and religions to establish cordial relations, that is based on the principles of acceptance and tolerance.
Understanding the differences that divide communities into religious and cultural lines not only signifies tolerance but mutual respect and builds the foundations of peaceful coexistence. Under cultural diplomacy which targets promoting tolerance, actors involved give up their objectives of missionizing. The missionary attempts are characterized by the feelings of being superior to the other cultures and religions and being the righteous one. Actors give up the perspective that their religion or culture is the only “true or right” way, rather they accept and tolerate the differences between them. The United Nations in 2007 also called a High-Level Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace”. The purpose of this conference was to promote tolerance, mutual respect for the right to freedom of religion, understanding of cultural diversity. In 2008, the first very step was taken to create a United Nations Council on Interfaith Dialogue, which paved way for the creation of the Madrid Interfaith Dialogue Conference. It was an initiative sponsored by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, whereby 200 delegates participated as representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions of the world.