World Council of Churches Office of Communication|
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Christians and Muslims look at impact of September 11 on dialogue
cf. WCC Press Update, Up-01-42, of 4 December 2001
Three meetings on Christian-Muslim dialogue at local, regional and international levels will take place in Cairo, 17-21 December.
An informal meeting between World Council of Churches (WCC) staff and about 30 local Christian and Muslim leaders will consider the educational use in the local context of a recent WCC publication Striving Together in Dialogue: A Muslim-Christian Call to Reflection and Action.
A second meeting will focus on how Arab Christians and Muslims see the Arab world as such, and in relation to other countries and cultures, after September 11. The meeting, "Relations between Nations, Cultures and Religious Communities Today: A Perspective from the Arab World", is being sponsored by the Arab Group on Christian-Muslim Dialogue. This group works with the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and the WCC. The meeting will involve about 30 participants.
The MECC and WCC will then facilitate a discussion with approximately 25 scholars and leaders engaged in Christian-Muslim dialogue from the Middle East, United States, United Kingdom and Pakistan. This meeting will attempt to assess Christian-Muslim relations, local and global, after September 11. The meeting is expected to make suggestions for the future agenda of those engaged in Christian-Muslim dialogue.
Tarek Mitri, staff member in the WCC team for Inter-Religious Relations and Dialogue, says that the main question will be: "How much do we want the issues raised from September 11 to determine our agenda in the future? For instance, should we put the priority on looking at violence, and if so, how should we approach it to engage in a real dialogue between the faiths?"
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.