Tongaat writer Brian Jayanathan is hoping that his debut book will help foster greater understanding among people from different backgrounds.

Breaking Barriers – Religious tolerance in the 21st century has been put together with input from various religious, community and political leaders and has gained local and national interest.

It tackles issues of social cohesion in an attempt to embrace diversity and uphold the spirit of ubuntu.

“No religion is better than the other. God has no barriers except in the hearts of man, and that is the value in our various religious teachings that will help mankind to bring about the social cohesion the world needs. The call is to break all barriers that divide mankind and create a society where we respect each other as fellow human beings. That is the spirit of ubuntu,” said Jayanathan, who is also a councillor in Tongaat.

He said he had been committed to taking care of others throughout his life, be it in a political or religious role.

“From the tender age of eight, I have dreamt about writing a book that teaches everyone to understand and tolerate others’ religions. I am grateful that the time has come for the world to share in the discussion with their views on religion, customs and beliefs,” he said.

Jayanathan said a common thread that flowed through all the various holy books was “God is love, be good, do good and stay good” – a motto he said had shaped his life.

Jayanathan will launch Breaking Barriers at the Tongaat Town Hall on August 12. Guest speakers include mayor James Nxumalo and consul-general Vinod Sharma.