'International Consultation on Christian - Muslim Dialogue' opens in Geneva under the auspices of WCC
His Eminence Mor Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim, Archbishop of Aleppo moderated the opening session
GENEVA: A four - day 'International Consultation on Christian - Muslim Dialogue' opened in Geneva on Nov 2nd. The “Transforming Communities” consultation has been organized under the leadership of the Consortium of A Common Word, the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute of Jordan, the World Islamic Call Society based in Libya and the World Council of Churches (WCC). The dialogue is taking place at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, site of the WCC central offices. Delegates to the conference and diplomats invited to the opening session were joined by representatives of Christian world communions who are meeting in Geneva this week. Church bodies and organizations represented on Monday included the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions.
At the start of the proceedings, a welcome was offered by the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC. He commented on the varying situations of the many societies from which participants have come. Another welcoming statement was read by Dr Ibrahim Ali Rabu, the World Islamic Call Society's director of conferences and institutions. He encouraged participants in the dialogue to express their concerns clearly and frankly: “Make sure that we understand each other.”
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan was one of two keynote speakers on the theme “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future.” The prince serves as personal envoy and special advisor to King Abdullah II of Jordan and as chairperson of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. The second keynote address was given by the Right Rev. Dr Anders Wejryd, archbishop of Uppsala in the Church of Sweden. He affirmed the two great commandments of love as common teachings of the religions descended from Abraham, although he suggested that people of different cultures could also find inspiration in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “a grand achievement and a piece of good theology.”
Greetings also were offered to the consultation members by leaders of the Protestant and Muslim communities in Switzerland. Sheikh Yousef Ibram, imam of the Geneva mosque, and the Rev. Dr Thomas Wipf, president of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches as well as of the Swiss Council of Religions, welcomed participants and briefly described the current state of Muslim-Christian relations across Switzerland.
The opening sessions were moderated by His Eminence Mor Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim, Archbishop of Aleppo & Environs in the Syrian Orthodox Church.
News Source: WCC Media
Photos: Mark Beach, Director of Communication, WCC