Christian leaders have convened in New Orleans this week to celebrate 100 years of ecumenical cooperation.
More than 400 people from the National Council of Churches and its humanitarian arm, Church World Service, opened the three-day anniversary event on Tuesday with the aim of unifying the church.
"In one sense, this event will be a 'celebration' of modern ecumenism," said NCC General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon in a statement. "But it will also [be] a time for assessing the churches’ failure to receive God’s gift of unity, for anticipating new directions for ecumenism in the 21st Century, and for recommitting ourselves and our churches to the ecumenical calling." more >>
A Muslim leader is calling on the Iraqi government and US-led forces to step up their efforts to protect the Christian minority in Iraq from extinction.
Navaid Hamid, Secretary of the South Asian Council for Minorities (SACM) and a Muslim, said the deadly attack last weekend on a church in Baghdad was a heinous crime that should be strongly condemned by the international community.
“With the murderous attack, the safety of Iraq’s Christian minority has become critical and it is the prime responsibility not only of the regime in Baghdad but also that of the allied forces led by [the] US to restore confidence and provide safety because never in the history of Iraq, minorities were so vulnerable [sic],” he said. more >>
After four days of meeting at the Ecumenical Center, Christian and Muslim leaders issued a statement Thursday announcing their intention to form a joint anti-crisis response working group.
The working group will be mobilized “whenever a crisis threatens to arise in which Christians and Muslims find themselves in conflict,” reads the statement that came out of the international consultation on “Transforming Communities: Christian and Muslims Building a Common Future” that was held in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Religion is often invoked in conflict creation, even when other factors, such as unfair resource allocation, oppression, occupation and injustice, are the real roots of conflict,” they say in the statement. “We must find ways to ‘disengage’ religion from such roles and ‘reengage’ it towards conflict resolution and compassionate justice.” more >>
High-level Christian and Muslim leaders meeting in Geneva to build a “common future” together issued a joint statement Wednesday condemning the deadly attack against the Catholic church in downtown Baghdad.
The leaders attending the consultation on “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslim Building a Common Future” said they “condemn this inhumane act that contradicts all religious teachings, and Middle Eastern culture that enabled people to coexist peacefully for many centuries.”
While the World Council of Churches, which is hosting the consultation, Pope Benedict XVI, and Muslims in Egypt have separately denounced the attack, the joint statement represents the collective voice of all participants at the consultation, including: His Royal Highness, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan; Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Al-Sharif, general secretary of the World Islamic Call Society; the World Council of Churches; and representatives of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions. more >>
Christian and Muslim leaders are gathered in Geneva for a high-level interfaith dialogue on how to build strong and sustainable relationships between the two groups and how the religious communities can use their resources to transform their communities.
The four-day event titled, “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future,” is inspired by the historic 2007 letter by 138 Muslim scholars called, “A Common Word.” Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Al-Sharif, general secretary of the World Islamic Call Society, and His Royal Highness, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, the initiator of the letter, are attending the event that is being hosted at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Center.
“The central theme of our conference affirms that dialogue is important but that we also need to address issues of common concern and act together – putting the common good at the heart of our joint initiative so as to promote ‘dialogue in action,” said the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, in his welcome address on Monday. more >>
A former Muslim who is now a pastor is telling Christians to stop fearing Muslims and to discern what they really should be fighting against.
Thabiti Anyabwile, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman on the Cayman Islands, says Christians need to think first rather than let their emotions dictate how they react to Muslims and Islam.
“We live in a world where failing to understand real and significant differences that matter to people not like us can result in things like hijacking, bombings, and bullets flying,” said Anyabwile during the recent “Think: The Life of the Mind & the Love of God” conference organized by Desiring God ministry. more >>