Loading
Bishops endorse Christian-Muslim dialogue, provide guidelines for improvement
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- An association of various national bishops' conferences in western Africa has issued a communiqué encouraging Christian-Muslim dialogue as "the only way that we can truly cultivate respect for each other."

The English-speaking Episcopal Conferences of West Africa, which include Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria, issued the document from Freetown, Sierra Leone yesterday.  The communiqué affirms Christian-Muslim dialogue as a way both to solidify common ground between the faiths and to mitigate controversies and violent conflicts.

The letter states that Muslims and Christians share similar "fundamental religious values," which include belief in the uniqueness of God, the need for prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage.  The bishops cited similar sexual morality as a ground for dialogue, since both faiths share belief in the dignity of the family and both condemn promiscuity, homosexuality, prostitution, and abortion. 

The bishops decried inter-religious violence and blamed the "bigotry, intolerance, militarism, and fundamentalism" on a tiny minority of Christians and Muslims.  They further condemned both Christians who use violence to avenge perceived insults to Jesus and Muslims who use violence to avenge perceived insults to Mohammed.  Government officials were cited for neglecting their duty to oppose violence, but clerics too were chastised:  "For their part, many religious leaders remain silent in the face of violence and criminal activities perpetrated by these few members."

At the same time, the bishops recognized obstacles to Christian-Muslim relations.  "What Christians concede to Muslims is not often reciprocated," they wrote.  They also suggested that some Muslims wrongly identify the Christian Church with the West, thus blaming Christianity for the actions of Western governments.  The bishops urged Christians not to give up on religious dialogue, but at the same time advised that they recognize the human limits of such efforts.

Further, the bishops cautioned that inter-religious efforts should not lead to "the watering down of our own doctrines to suit Muslims."  They likewise advised that Christians should not expect Muslims to adopt Christianity as a requirement for interaction.

The conference’s report also credits collaboration between the two faiths for hastening the end of wars in the region and the beginning of peaceful elections. 

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
20

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14