Checklist becomes guide to interfaith relations

Published September 1, 1998

The Lambeth Conference has set up a checklist to guide Anglicans living and working alongside members of other faiths.

The resolution suggests the approach of Christians to people of other faiths should be marked by “co-operation … in working for justice, peace and reconciliation” together with a “frank and honest exploration of both the common ground and differences between the faiths.” Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester, England, chair of the conference’s interfaith team, who led the debate, acknowledged some bishops live in nations where inter-faith relationships are hard to pursue. He said dialogue is needed at the grassroots level. “In spite of these difficulties, and perhaps because of them, dialogue remains necessary,” he said. “Unless we understand how our neighbours think, what are their values, we will not be able to proclaim to them the Good News of the Gospel.” Bishop Nazir-Ali said while “conversion” is valid as a theological idea, “We’ve said again and again … that proselytizing is inappropriate for churches of this communion. There is no place in our strategies of mission for material inducements, psychological pressure or the targeting of individuals or groups.” Lambeth also asked the Anglican Network for Inter-Faith Concern to “monitor Muslim-Christian relationships.”


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