Saudi king's interfaith initiative receives support from World Jewish Congress

Saudi king's interfaith initiative receives support from World Jewish Congress

By agency reporter
27 May 2008

The leadership of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has praised an initiative by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia for a reinforced dialogue between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

They said in a statement that they considered it to be an 'important development' in the area of inter-faith dialogue.

"The World Jewish Congress believes that all religions, and especially the Religions of the Book, can work together in responding to the challenges posed by the developments in society in these times. The WJC supports the proposal to bring together members of the Abrahamic faiths to discuss common values. Such an initiative demonstrates optimism that dialogue involving representatives of different faiths can help the peoples of the world during difficult times" the statement said.

"Discussion can help in finding ways to approach the crisis of ethical values facing our societies. It is the duty of all religions to restore respect for humanity. The WJC strongly believes that through discussion and debate between brethren who share a common root we will learn that the ideals, aspirations and values that we share far outweigh any difference we may have."

In March, King Abdullah had told a seminar on 'Culture and the Respect of Religions' in Riyadh: "The idea is to ask representatives of all monotheistic religions to sit together with their brothers in faith and sincerity to all religions as we all believe in the same God."

WJC President Ronald S Lauder said: "Despite all obstacles that may still be in the way, King Abdullah's initiative is a laudable step forward. We hope that other religious and political leaders throughout the world will be encouraged to join."

The Chairman of the WJC's Governing Board, Matthew Bronfman, expressed his hope that the Saudi initiative will spell real progress in fostering better understanding with the Muslim world. "The World Jewish Congress is ready to participate in any serious inter-faith talks that are based on mutual respect," Bronfman said.

The World Jewish Congress is the international organization representing Jewish communities in over 80 countries around the world.

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