When people are fighting and killing each other in the name of religions and sects all over the world, we need to promote and support people who are working to bring harmony and peace among different communities. They should be recognised and honoured. But sadly, they are a handful in number.
Dr Bhai Mohinder Singh, chairman of the Birmingham-based Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha and a trustee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, is one such person who is committed to work for peace among people of all faith and world religions.
He was recently awarded a plaque by a Roman Catholic church in recognition for his outstanding efforts, particularly strengthening Roman Catholic-Sikh relations.
In a rare moment, Kirtan was done at a Birmingham church to highlight that the world needs
co-existence of all religions.
Bhai Mohinder Singh â who is also the Trustee of Anandpur Sahib Foundation; Chairman of British Sikh Consultative Forum comprising 80 Gurudwaras and Sikh organisations in the UK; Chairman of Sangat Trust; International Trustee of Religions for Peace (International) â had received several first-of-their-kind honours in the past. Earlier, he had made history when Pope Benedict XVI for the first time had honoured a Sikh with the Pontifical Order of Knighthood of St Gregory in recognition to his services for Roman Catholic-Sikh relations. The Papal Order of Saint Gregory was originally founded by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831.
The ceremony was held at Saint Chadâs Cathedral in Birmingham and led by The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham. The Order of St Gregory is one of five Pontifical orders of Knighthood in the Catholic Church and is usually bestowed on Catholics. On rare occasions, the Order is also conferred on non-Catholics in recognition of their meritorious service to the Church and the exceptional example set in oneâs own community or country.
Bhai Sahib has been distinguished as an âInterfaith Visionaryâ, holding the Juliet Hollister Award from the Temple of Understanding.Â
During World Interfaith Harmony Week in February 2012, Bhai Sahib addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York on the theme âCommon Ground for the Common Goodâ.
Bhai Sahibâs engagement with the interfaith arena, alongside the Pontifical Council, has also included proactive participation with the Elijah Board of Worldâs Religious Leaders, Council for a Parliament of the Worldâs Religions, European Council of Religious Leaders, Religions for Peace (International Trustee), Tony Blair Faith Foundation, West Midlands Faith Forum, Birmingham Faith Leaders GroupÂ Birmingham Faiths Roundtable.