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Friday, 10 September 2010

Greetings and a message of peace to Muslim dialogue partners

Inter-religious dialogue has an important place in the work of any bishop. On behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, I carry some responsibility for relations with Muslim leaders who are engaged in Muslim initiatives, such as the dialogue resulting from A Common Word Between Us and You, a letter signed by 138 Muslim scholars in 2007 and sent to Christian leaders throughout the world. Additionally, this vast diocese which I serve includes two countries where the majority of the population are Muslim: Morocco and Turkey. Consequently I sent a letter of friendship and greeting to dialogue partners and Muslim contacts, on this the feast of Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan. The text of the letter is below.

I send you warm wishes on the great feast of Eid al-Fitr which concludes the holy month of Ramadan. As the Muslim community throughout the world has been observing this sacred time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, your Christian friends have been accompanying you in our prayers that God will bless your faithfulness.
In recent weeks the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan has underlined the need for Muslims and Christians to unite our efforts and encourage governments, international agencies and our faith communities to respond generously to assist our brothers and sisters who are suffering great loss. Such joint commitment and action will help to show the world the compassion and love of Almighty God. Many of us will be aware of individuals who do not share our view of friendship and cooperation and who have even threatened to commit acts of desecration to sacred scriptures which will cause deep offence to the faithful. We distance ourselves from all such acts of irreverence, disrespect and provocation.
I pray that in the face of the challenges in our world, our interreligious dialogue will go from strength to strength, and that our friendship, mutual understanding and trust will grow deeper. It is also my prayer that as Christians and Muslims we may find ways to bear witness to the values we share: compassion, generosity, charity towards our neighbour, and mutual respect among all peoples.
At this joyous season, may God bless you and your family and friends with peace.
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Bishop David. That rounds off tomorrow's sermon.