At a time when religion seems to be one of the causes of division in the world, it is always good to hear news about how people from different faiths are uniting for a common cause.
American Catholic bishops joined hands with Shia Muslim religious leaders as they recently released a joint statement condemning terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
The joint declaration, entitled “Gathered In The Name of God,” highlighted how both religions value life and aspire for peace. It was signed by Catholic Church officials such as Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington and Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.
“Christianity and Islam share a commitment to love and respect for the life, dignity, and welfare of all members of the human community,” the religious leaders said in the joint declaration, as quoted by The Catholic News Agency.
“Peaceful coexistence is built on equity and justice. We call upon all to work toward developing a culture of encounter, tolerance, dialogue, and peace that respects the religious traditions of others,” they said.
The declaration also rejected “all acts of terrorism” and destructive weapons, encouraging countries around the world to shun these forms of warfare.
“Together we are working for a world without weapons of mass destruction. We call on all nations to reject acquiring such weapons and call on those who possess them to rid themselves of these indiscriminate weapons, including chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons,” the document stated.
FULL ARTICLE FROM CHRISTIAN TODAY
“God taught us how to converse with all people. There are no sanctities when it comes to dialogue. God Almighty himself spoke to the devil. Are there people like the devil? Also, the Quran is a book of dialogue with polytheists about the unity of God, and with infidels about the existence of God and the prophecy of Muhammad.” This is how the late Lebanese Shiite cleric Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah responded when asked about the increased talk of interfaith dialogue in the 1990s.
The occasion to talk about the late Fadlallah today, and about his call for dialogue with the “Other” — especially with other Christian and Islamic sects — is an initiative launched by his son, the scholar Sayyed Ali Fadlallah. The latter established the “Religions and Cultures Forum for Development and Dialogue,” in which 50 different personalities participated, including Muslim and Christian clerics and intellectuals from Lebanon and other countries of the Arab and Islamic world.
This forum was announced by Fadlallah during a ceremony held in Beirut on Tuesday, Oct. 30, attended by MPs, politicians, party leaders, intellectuals and media figures. The most prominent attendees included the head of the Loyalty to the Resistance (Hezbollah) Bloc, MP Mohammad Raad; the head of the Islamic Group in Lebanon’s political bureau, Azzam Ayoubi; a representative of former Lebanese President and Kataeb Party leader Amine Gemayel; and delegations from the Amal Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party.
A number of religious leaders were also in attendance, including the Rev. Fadi Daou, a representative of Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara al-Rai; Rev. Sulaiman Wehbe, a representative of the patriarch of Antakya, Alexandria and Jerusalem for the Melkite Greek Catholic Church Gregory III Laham; a representative for the papal ambassador to Lebanon; Archbishop Daniel Sukkar, a representative for Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas; and a number of Sunni, Shiite and Druze religious scholars from Lebanon and the Arab and Islamic world. The most notable among the latter were the General Secretary of the Supreme Islamic Legislative Council Sheikh Khaldoun Oraymit, and Sheikh Sami Abou al-Mona, who represented the spiritual leader for the Druze sect Sheikh Naim Hassan.
FULL ARTICLE FROM AL MONITOR
Iran President Hassan Rouhani has called for dialogue between Islam and Christianity as the followers of both religions share the same divine values and face a common enemy.
Rouhani made the remarks on Tuesday as he received Vatican’s new Apostolic Nuncio to Tehran Archbishop Leo Boccardi to submit his credentials.
The Iranian president stressed the need for dialogue between Islam and Christianity as well as Shias and Catholics.
“Today we have common objectives and enemies. Extremism and terrorism are our common enemies and, based on the divine teachings, human interactions and cooperation for the elimination of poverty and injustice are common objectives,” the Iranian president added.
FULL ARTICLE FROM PRESS TV