New Date: Hindu Leaders Discuss Rising Discrimination in Western Countries on September 15

Bringing Faith and Policy Together

G20 Interfaith Forum

The ARI of IF20 is gathering expert members of Hindu communities to discuss increasing discrimination against Hindus in Western Europe and North America.

In a pluralistic society, everyone must be respected regardless of their beliefs. Hinduism has contributed so much so long with so little recognition. Now is the right time to change.”
— Pandit Roopnauth Sharma
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA, September 13, 2022 / -- The Anti-Racism Initiative of the G20 Interfaith Forum (IF20), the world’s leading organization focused on the intersection of faith and policy, is gathering expert members of Hindu communities to discuss increasing discrimination against Hindus as the spiritual tradition grows exponentially in Western Europe and North America.

Dr. James Christie, who will moderate the webinar, wrote the following statement on behalf of the IF20 Anti-Racism Initiative:

“Our objective is concerned more with the prevention and limitation of damage and somewhat less with an expose of particular incidents. Having said that, we anticipate addressing four recent and ongoing cases of discrimination against the expat and diaspora Hindu communities. In Canada alone, four serious instances of anti-Hindu sentiment and discrimination have and are being addressed. There is ongoing contention between the Hindu community and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); the distinction between the beloved Hindu symbol of good fortune and welcome, the swastika, and the justly loathed and reviled Nazi parody, the Hakenkreuz; the unintentional misuse of Hindu symbols and images by the Metropolitan University in Toronto (formerly Ryerson University) and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto; and the ongoing controversy on the employment of religious symbols in the Canadian province of Quebec.”

Pandit Roopnauth Sharma, a prominent Hindu leader in Canada, said the time has come for Hinduism and its contributions to be properly respected:
“In a pluralistic society, everyone must be respected regardless of their beliefs,” Sharma said. “Hinduism has contributed so much so long with so little recognition. Now is the right time to change.”

The other three panelists, who advocate for Hindu communities in the US, UK, and Canada, agreed on the significant contributions Hinduism is making to our societies today:

“The Hindu values of Pluralism and Ahimsa towards all are not only relevant but critical to addressing the major challenges of our times,” Dr. Jai Bansal said.

“Hinduism is Mother of all religions, combining science, philosophy, and religion in perfect harmony,” Dr. Lakshmi Vyas said. “Hinduism does not force anyone.”

“Hinduism is the most ancient living religion in the world,” Srimathy Thushy Thirun said. “Unlike the single book modern religions, it is organic, ever adapting and keeping itself relevant to the needs of human beings.”

The webinar’s panelists intend to concentrate on three particular areas:
1. Increasing the awareness of non-Hindu communities in the US, UK, and Canada to the presence, nature, and significance of Hinduism in their areas
2. Demonstrating the increasing experience of discrimination against Hindus and noting relevant examples
3. Sparking a new dialogue around the Hindu community’s capacity to engage in bridge-building and peacebuilding worldwide

The virtual meeting covering Hinduism and discriminatory experiences will take place on September 15, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Register for the free webinar at

Speakers will include:
• Dr. Jai Bansal – Vice President of Education for the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA); scientist, author, and community leader
• Dr. Lakshmi Vyas – President & Chair of the Hindu Forum of Europe; Executive Member of the UK Women Network; Hindu Leader at the European Council of Religious Leaders; Advisory Member to Hindu Matters in Britain
• Pandit Roopnauth Sharma – President of the Hindu Federation; President of the Canadian Multi-faith Federation; Founder, Spiritual Leader, and Practicing Hindu Priest at Ram Mandir in Mississauga
• Srimathy Thushy Thirun – Vice President of the Hindu Federation; Recent Recipient of the Queens Platinum Jubilee Award
• Dr. James Christie – Ambassador-at-Large for the Canadian Multifaith Federation and part of the G20 Interfaith Forum Board of Directors

About the G20 Process

The Group of Twenty, or G20, is the premier forum for international economic cooperation,
bringing together the leaders of Earth’s most prosperous economies. Collectively, G20
members represent around 80 percent of the world’s economic output, two-thirds of the
global population and three-quarters of international trade. Throughout the year,
representatives from G20 countries gather to discuss financial and socioeconomic issues as
well as broader humanitarian issues targeted by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

About the G20 Interfaith Forum

The G20 Interfaith Forum seeks global solutions by collaborating with religious thought
leaders and political representatives to help shape the overall G20 agenda. It draws on the
vital roles that religious institutions and beliefs play in world affairs, reflecting a rich
diversity of institutions, ideas, and values. Through its extensive network of networks, it
helps prioritize key global policy goals and point toward practical means of implementation
at every level of society.

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Marianna Richardson
G20 Interfaith Forum
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