Surinder Bhardwaj believes dialogue holds a path to peace.
"All the varying faiths have peace at their core, but there's still just so much conflict," said Bhardwaj, a Hindu and president of the Akron Interfaith Council. "What we are trying to do is find values in each faith that help us seek peace."
To promote that dialogue in the interest understanding one another, the Akron Interfaith Council is hosting a forum with members of varying religious backgrounds from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Akron's First Congregational Church, 292 E. Market St., featuring speaker Dr. Terry Gordon, author of "No Storm Lasts Forever: Transforming Suffering Into Insight."
Bhardwaj, Kent State University professor emeritus of geography, encourages members of the community, regardless of religion, will come sit in on a discussion where a panel of experts from religious denominations ranging from Sikh, Islam, Judaism and Christianity will be present, among others.
The event, dubbed "Finding the Path to Peace," is free, open to the public and coincides with Peace Week 2013.
Bhardwaj said there's a "greater need to understand each other than ever before." He noted how various world events can lead to strife, misunderstanding and even violence among individuals that is often driven or exacerbated by religion.
"It's always better if we can develop friendships and then address different issues rather than just blame each other for the problems created presumably by religions," Bhardwaj said. "If the different faiths are able to come together, than community develops between them and we can discuss and sometimes even initiate new friendships and harmony between these people in general."
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