From the Worldwide Faith News archives

WCC - Violence is not grounded on religious texts

From "Sheila Mesa" <>
Date Fri, 21 Dec 2001 14:32:10 +0100

World Council of Churches
Update, Up-01-46
For Immediate Use
21 December 2001

Violence is not grounded on religious texts
Seminar on Christian-Muslim dialogue makes suggestions for
future agenda

cf. WCC Press Release, PR-01-47, of 13 December 2001
cf. WCC Press Update, Up-01-45, of  21 December 2001

The mutual interpretation of each other's religion, the
discussion of the history of violence, the notion of Jihad and
"just war" as well as the impact of global religious
confrontation on local relations are among the main areas on
which Christian-Muslim dialogue should focus in the future.  

These, said Dr Tarek Mitri, team coordinator of the
Inter-Religious Relations and Dialogue Team in the World Council
of Churches (WCC), were the main proposals made on the final day
of a seminar that brought together 45 scholars and leaders
engaged in Christian-Muslim dialogue from the Arab world, the
USA, Europe and Asia. The meeting was the last in a series of
three on Christian-Muslim dialogue, held in Cairo, Egypt, 17-21

"The seminar was an occasion to exchange information as well as
to make an analysis of Christian-Muslim dialogue and to set the
agenda for future work," explained Mitri. "It was also an
occasion to assess the various initiatives in the area of
Christian-Muslim dialogue," he added.  

"The seminar made it very clear that we need to reflect on
religion and violence, knowing very well that violence is not
grounded in religious texts but in the history of people who
interpret those texts. Therefore the discussion on violence needs
to be a discussion on the history of violence, and it should not
start from the assumption that it is religious tradition that
legitimates violence," Mitri said.  

The three meetings on Christian-Muslim dialogue were facilitated
by the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and the WCC.  

For further information, please contact Karin Achtelstetter,
Media Relations Officer, Tel.:  (+41.22) 791.61.53   Mobile: 

The World Council of Churches (WCC) 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, The Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general
secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.

World Council of Churches
Media Relations Office
Tel: (41 22) 791 6153 / 791 6421
Fax: (41 22) 798 1346

PO Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

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