Religious leadership, both Christian and Muslim, needs to be more courageous than it has been, says Dr. Agnes Abuom, moderator of the World Council of Churches main governing body.
“Without directly supporting attacks on the other religion, there have been some occasions when religious leaders have given a sort of silent approval to what their followers are saying and doing,” Abuom said .
She spoke during two-day discussions between the Muslim Council of Elders and the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 after which they issues a joint declaration.
Two historic sessions of talks, hosted by the WCC, involved discussions on key aspects of peacebuilding and interreligious dialogue, paying special attention to combating religious extremism leading to violence in many parts of the world.
“The WCC is to be commended for inviting us to this important meeting,” said Ahmed al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in a speech Oct. 1 at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey near Geneva.
He said the meetings had taken place “with the presence of eminent scholars and religious leaders representing the monotheistic religions, meeting in the heart of Europe, in the beautiful and peaceful city of Geneva, so that we may assume our responsibilities both to our conscience and to the message of Allah the Almighty.