04.11.10 18:52 Age: 1 yrs

Christians and Muslims want anti-crisis response group


Dr Ibrahim Ali Rabu (WICS) and Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit (WCC) at the press conference.

An international consultation on Muslim-Christian relations ended with a "call for the formation of a joint working group which can be mobilized whenever a crisis threatens to arise in which Christians and Muslims find themselves in conflict" today in Geneva, Switzerland.


Some 60 Muslim and Christian leaders and scholars had participated in the 4-day international consultation on "Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future" at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, site of the World Council of Churches (WCC) central offices.


In a joint statement presented to the media on 4 November, the participants stated that "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. We must find ways to ‘disengage’ religion from such roles and ‘reengage’ it towards conflict resolution and compassionate justice."


The statement also affirms the "importance of relevant and balanced education about the religion of ‘the other’ at all levels" of religious education. The group recommends that the organizers of the consultation – the WCC, the World Islamic Call Society, the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute and the Consortium of A Common Word – should establish a joint project in order to promote the sharing of experiences and best practices "of living together constructively in plural societies" and building a "culture of dialogue and inter-religious cooperation", and work together on social and environmental issues.


Read the full text of the statement


Visit the consultation's website for more information


Read also a feature article by Ecumenical News International about the statement and the press conference