Understand Islam

Published December 2, 2008

Christian communities should improve their knowledge of Islam, be good neighbours to Muslims and bear witness to their faith in an appropriate manner, an international group of church leaders and experts on Christian-Muslim dialogue has resolved.

These were among recommendations made at an October meeting aimed at developing an ecumenical Christian theological understanding of dialogue with Islam. It was convened by the World Council of Churches.

Participants acknowledged a history of “mixed” relationships between Christians and Muslims, with both positive and negative dimensions.

They noted that Christians have seen Muslims both as friends and rivals, neighbours and strangers.

“In spite of the significant growth of Muslim-Christian dialogue and relations, Muslims and Christians continue to misconstrue each other’s religion,” Catholicos Aram I of the Armenian Apostolic Church, a former WCC moderator, told the consultation in a keynote address. “We must endeavour together with our Muslim neighbours to consolidate our commonalties, which ensure wholeness and integrity, and we must preserve our diversities which enrich community,” he said.


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