In our efforts to help those who are affected by disaster and to alleviate their suffering, we never discriminate against people because of their ethnicity, caste, religion or nationality. When we were doing relief work in Bangladesh our efforts exemplified this belief. Our program included building a Buddhist Temple, a Muslim Mosque and a Hindu Temple.
Place of worship is an important place for a person of any religion, especially in a country like Bangladesh. As I have witnessed, the place of worship is also a place of community gathering. The place of worship plays an important role in keeping the community together and assisting one another.
Especially in Asia when a person is grieving the loss of a loved one or one’s own belongings and homes to a disaster, or personal tragedy, they come to the place of worship looking for comfort and counseling. Not having a place to congregate can make things difficult in some communities especially at times of disasters. This understanding is the reason why I wanted to help build the Muslim Mosque, Buddhist Temple and Hindu Temple in Bangladesh. Our humanitarian efforts have no intention of promoting any religion or supporting any religious group.
As you might remember, this is not the first time that we have built places of worship. As part of our Tsunami relief work, we built two Hindu Temples — the original temples were completely destroyed by the Tsunami.