Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Historical Moment of Cooperation Between ISKCON Suriname and the Suriname Islamic Association
By ISKCON News   |  Mar 09, 2024

Shailendra Khemai, M.R. Moennoesing, and Jankinath Das exchanging scriptures.

On March 3, 2024, a significant moment of cooperation and interfaith harmony occurred in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, during a visit between leaders of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) and a representative from the Suriname Islamic Association (SIV).

The highlight of this meeting was the sharing of sacred scriptures: copies of Bhagavad-gita As It Is in the Arabic, Urdu, and Dutch languages were shared with M.R. Moennoesing, SIV’s Treasurer and the gift of the Holy Quran was given to ISKCON Suriname leaders Jankinath Das and Shailendra Khemai, an aspiring disciple of H.H. Nava Yogendra Swami.

In an atmosphere of mutual respect, with God at the center, representatives from both traditions emphasized the shared values of service to God and the pursuit of spiritual upliftment. “Brief passages from both scriptures were shared, emphasizing the similarities and highlighting the message of love and service to God,” said Shailendra Khemai.

Following the exchange of books, ISKCON leaders were given a tour of the mosque, which was followed by a lively exchange of information and ideas.

While the SIV Treasurer uttered “Hare Krishna,” the ISKCON devotees responded with a heartfelt “Alhamdulillah” (Praise be to God). “This gesture emphasized the shared belief that divine connecting and cooperation based on interfaith thinking is key to peaceful coexistence,” noted Shailendra Khemai, “This historic moment of unity between the Hare Krishnas and the SIV highlights not only the richness of religious diversity in Suriname, but also the possibility of cooperation and understanding between different faiths. It serves as a powerful reminder that regardless of our differences, the essence of spirituality and service to God is universal.”

The meeting was covered by several local Suriname media outlets. To follow the inspiring service of the ISKCON devotees in Suriname, visit their Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channel. A special thank you to Shailendra Khemai for the details of the day and the photos.