MECC PRESENCE AT WCC ECUMENICAL CONSULTATION ON DIALOGUE WITH ISLAM
The World Council of Churches held an ecumenical consultation (18 20
October) in Chavannes-de-Bogis, outside Geneva, Switzerland, which aimed at
developing an ecumenical Christian theological understanding with Islam.
Fifty church leaders and experts on Christian-Muslim dialogue gathered to
discuss, acknowledge, and recommend strategies of work. His Holiness
Catholicose Aram I (MECC President and former moderator of WCC), and H.E
Bishop Joseph Absi from the Greek Melkite Catholic Church (MECC Executive
Committee member) were present in the consultation. Rather than producing a
written response to the letter by the Muslim scholars, the goal of the
consultation was to provide a space for churches and communions of churches
to share their initiatives and theological resources for engaging with
Muslims, and to identify substantial issues for Christian theology in
relation to Christian-Muslim dialogue.
H.H. Aram I, presented a paper at the opening of the consultation in which
he stated that: "living together in community must take the centre stage of
Christian-Muslim dialogue². H.H. added that "the prevailing misperceptions,
ambiguities, polarizations, tensions and collision [of values between
Muslims and Christians], hijacked and sharpened by politico-ideological
agendas and geo-political strategies, can be transformed only through a
shared life in community². Participants acknowledged a history of "mixed"
relationships between Christians and Muslims, with both positive and
negative dimensions. The consultation identified a number of issues to be
addressed in further dialogue with Muslims, among others: human rights,
conversion, concepts of secularism, pluralism, and citizenship, as well as
the use of religious symbols for political ideologies and religiously
motivated violence. Participants also recommended further Christian-Muslim
collaboration on issues such as social and economic justice, climate change,
peace and healing of memories.
Sources: www.wcc-coe.org, www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org
Middle East Council of Churches
Office of International Ecumenical Relations P.O. Box 5376, Beirut, Lebanon
Guirgis Ibrahim Saleh, General Secretary mecc@...