Muslims and Christians call for anti-crisis response group

By agency reporter
November 5, 2010

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

Some 60 Muslim and Christian leaders and scholars had participated in the four-day international consultation on 'Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future' at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, which also houses the World Council of Churches' central offices.

In a joint statement presented to the media on 4 November 2010, 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 beliefs and values education.

The group recommends that the organisers 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.

The full text of the statement is available here (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat format):

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