When historians look back upon the twentieth century they may remember it not for the release of nuclear energy or the rise and fall of communism, but as the time in which all the peoples of the world first had to take one another seriously.
We have all been catapulted from town and country onto a world stage. Mass communications, satellites, the Internet and global travel are creating in front of our eyes what has been called "a global village".
With increased knowledge has come an awareness that our fellow citizens in different parts of the world have their own beliefs, cultures and customs.
In the past Christianity tended to adopt either a standpoint of "exclusivity", which was a blanket condemnation of other faiths and their truths, or a standpoint of superiority, which rated Christianity as somehow "better" than other religions.
Over recent years the world religions have been keen to have 'dialogue' with other religions. This is very important if we are to build a peaceful world in the next century for, as the theologian Hans Kung has said, "There will be no peace in the world until there is peace between the world religions".