At the very beginning of this new millennium, some people claim that we will see a more polarized and fractured world in the coming years. They assert that this will be caused by conflicts between people of different ideologies and religions. However, The Fountain has good reason to pronounce that the new millennium will bring happiness, justice, and mercy to all people.

Unfortunately, the biggest millennial issue was the Y2K syndrome. Instead of focusing on this temporary problem, we should have been concentrating on evaluating the century we so recently left, and devising ways to improve people's mental and spiritual capacity. However the focus was Y2K, which showed once more that advances in technology and science are not enough to make us happy. Now that this particular "crisis" has passed, to what issue should we turn our attention? In our opinion, we should focus on our need for a new philosophy to unite our hearts and minds.

Science and religion have been separated for centuries, and religion has been accused of being implausible and superfluous. But during the last years of the twentieth century, we saw some new approaches to understanding religion and reconsidering human beings as believers. Despite this positive development, some futurists still claim that the next century will be one of religious polarization. The strongest answer to this claim is to understand the meaning and purpose of-life: "Altruism, beauty, and sincerity are the essentials of the world. No matter what happens, the world will come to those essentials."

The continued call for interfaith and intercivilizational dialogue are strong indications that the next century will be one of mutual understanding. This is the position taken by the author of our first article, who writes: "I believe and hope that the world of the new millennium will be a happier, more just, and more compassionate place, contrary to the fears of some people. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all come from the same root, have almost the same essentials, and are nourished from the same source. Although they have lived as rival religions for centuries, the common points among them and their shared responsibility to build a happy world for all creatures of God make interfaith dialogue among them necessary. This dialogue has now expanded to include the religions of Asia and other areas. The results have been positive."

The second coming of Jesus is another factor for hope. Perhaps he is the one who will unite our hearts and minds, and remind us of the reason behind creation. In this issue, one of our authors deals with this topic from an Islamic point of view.

We sincerely hope that the new millennium justifies our optimistic expectations…

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