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 >>
CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The mood was light Tuesday evening – thanks to leg-swinging praise music – when Lausanne III participants wrestled with the difficult topics of reconciliation in the Middle East, HIV/AIDS, and human trafficking.
Speakers gave hopeful messages of how God is moving and bringing hope despite addressing some of the darkest and seemingly most hopeless situations in the world today.
The Middle East, which has become almost synonymous with violence and Islam, is experiencing an unprecedented level of Muslims becoming followers of Jesus Christ, said Sam Yeghnazar, founder of Iran-focused Elam Ministries. There were only about 500 Iranian Christians from a Muslim background at the time of Lausanne I in 1974, he said. But over the past 30 years, more Muslims have come to Christ than in the past 1,300 years. 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 >>
An estimated 100 million people worldwide are expected to pray for peace in Jerusalem on Sunday.
The eighth annual Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, which takes place on the first Sunday of every October, will unite some 300,000 churches in 175 nations to intercede in prayer on behalf of Jerusalem, Israel, and its inhabitants. The event is the largest Israel-focused prayer event in history.
“We are living in challenging days, when Jerusalem is under tremendous pressure on all sides,” said Robert Stearns, Eagles’ Wings founder and co-host of the prayer day. “The prayers of faithful people on her behalf will make a difference, especially as Christians and Jews from the nations, along with Arab Christians and Jews from Israel, stand together in Jerusalem on Oct. 3.” more >>
A nationwide prayer campaign for peace was launched Tuesday ahead of Sudan’s upcoming referendum in January, when the South is expected to vote for independence from the North.
The Catholic Church launched the prayer campaign in Sudan just days after The Episcopal Church urged its U.S. members to observe “A Season of Prayer for Sudan.” Like other international observers, both church bodies worry that violence will breakout in the months leading up to the highly-anticipated referendum. more >>