First Muslim guest at the World Council of Churches, a professor from Al Azhar is struck by the mutual respect and willingness to listen shown by Christian delegates. He would like to see Muslims behave this way. As an ambassador of Islam, he calls on Muslims to “open up to the issues of poverty and care for creation.”
The Muslim world “has yet to learn mutual respect and to listen to others because violence and aggressiveness are not even useful roads even if one wants to proselytise. I learnt from Christians that we can be together, faithful of different religions or traditions, without condemning or damning each other to hell,” this according to Idris Tawfiq, a professor at the prestigious Islamic university of Al Azhar, who attended the assembly of the World Council of Churches, which took place recently in South Korea. Here is his full testimonial.
The Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC) was founded after the Second World War as a forum for Christians to try and bring the different branches of Christianity closer together after centuries of division.
Since that time Anglicans, Lutherans, Orthodox and Evangelical Christians, all with their different histories, traditions and beliefs, have all worked for the day when there will just be one Christian Church. Since then, every seven years the WCC has held a global Congress where participants of the member Churches come together to discuss the faith they have in common.
So it was that in November 2013 around four thousand Christians from all across the globe gathered in Busan, South Korea, for the 10th. such Assembly of the World Council of Churches.
The choice of venue was itself significant since Korea has been physically divided in two for the last sixty years. Under the Assembly theme of “God of Life Lead Us to Justice and Peace”, the participants prayed together, talked together and even argued vigorously together for ten days of meetings and workshops.
Many of the World’s religious leaders attended. The Archbishop of Canterbury, for example, the spiritual leader of the world’s eighty million Anglicans, brought a message of greeting and urged the delegates to work passionately for greater unity for the sake of the world.