"The spread of Christianity through missions both Catholic and Protestant in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and even first half of the twentieth century was often characterized by ignorance of other religions. The attitude of many missionaries with regard to other belief systems was ill-formed and based on a simplistic assumption of the finality, absoluteness, and uniqueness of the faith they held. Today, living in a global village requires a courageous rereading of our history. We are both witnesses and actors in this revolution.

"We need to develop a new way of looking at the multifaith context in which we live, seeing it as a part of the richness of the God-given reality. We are struggling to articulate a theology that celebrates our interreligious prayers as a way of reveling in the multicolored, multilayered manifestations of God.

"Variety and diversity, reflected in the flora and fauna, are inherent in creation. Similarly, the diversity of religious faith and expression contributes to the beauty and richness of the complex spirituality of the human family. Accepting the legitimacy of different religions is crucial for the quality of our corporate existence and a precondition for peace and communal harmony among us as people of different faiths.

"Those who come together for interreligious prayer recognize God's saving presence in each religious community, irrespective of the symbols expressing it. The meaningfulness of interreligious prayer depends on this recognition. Interaction among members of different religions through the dialogue of life, of action, of theological exchange, and of religious experience contributes to mutual learning, correction, and enrichment. It moves us all toward the fulfillment of our common humanity. In a multireligious context, coming together in prayer from time to time is a necessary expression of the human pilgrimage from isolation to communion.”