Religion. How can eight letters create such division? Why do people exhibit such hatred against others who follow another religion or none at all?
We ultimately believe that there is a unity within all religions. In our own experience, Sanskrit scriptures contain many beautiful verses claiming that we should treat all beings with compassion, that a true devotee sees a Brahmin and a dog equally with love. And yet, there are plenty of instances where people following Hinduism have a true hatred for those not believing in what they believe. But Hindus themselves preach ahimsa- nonviolence in the form of both right action and right thought. Krishna claims that “avoiding harm to all creatures…that is true knowledge” (Bhagavad Gita). Hinduism as a whole teaches kindness, compassion, love for the one Spirit and therefore love for all beings.
The same is true of Christianity. The Bible preaches kindness, non-violence, and hope. And yet, we hear about Christian popes who are abusing their powers. This is not what Jesus descended to Earth to teach us. Jesus states that you should “love your neighbor as you love yourself”. He tells us that the “fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians, 5:22-23).
The same is true of Islam. The mental line between Muslims and terrorists has been blurred almost beyond recognition by many of us in society. This has created so much fear for both Muslims and non-Muslims. However, Islam itself is derived from the Arabic word meaning “peace”. The Quran reads “[t]he true servants of the Gracious One are those who walk upon the earth with humility and when they are addressed by the ignorant ones, their response is, Peace” (Al Quran 25:63). Islam does not support terrorism or hatred. It claims that one should not force others’ beliefs. Islam preaches love between all beings.
The same is true for Buddhism, Judaism, and other religions. And so we questioned. Why does this happen? Why is violence propagated when love and compassion are so pervasive throughout the pure teachings of all religions? We realized that a few followers of religion today have become so obsessed with religious practice, that they forget to learn the core values. These are core values which all people can appreciate. The values of kindness. Compassion. Peace. Hope.
Credo Espoir was created to show that we as humans should not be driven apart because of differences in custom. Each may follow their own tradition or no tradition, but we should be united at heart through these core beliefs. Rather than hating, we should be helping each other along the journey of life.
We are all connected through writing and art. Through emotion. And by getting to know the authors, both us on the staff and the greater world can organically learn about different cultures and beliefs. Not judge. But truly learn. We hope to heal misunderstandings and reveal true courage. We hope to bring society together so that we may hold hands in the face of danger instead of hating our neighbors. We hope for a brighter future. We are Credo Espoir, and we believe in hope.