From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Assembly supports Christian-Muslim dialogue

Date 20 Jun 2002 14:29:59 -0400

Note #7293 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Assembly supports Christian-Muslim dialogue

by Frank Buhrman

COLUMBUS, OH - One of the first actions of the 214th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) was the approval on June 19 of measures to promote dialogue and understanding between Muslims and Christians.

Following the recommendation of its Catholicity and Ecumenical Relations Committee, the GA called on individuals, congregations and governing bodies to "interact with those Muslims in their own localities who are interested in building bridges of understanding and trust, doing so ecumenically whenever possible."

It commended a document titled "Striving Together in Dialogue: A Muslim-Christian Call for Reflection and Action," written by Christians and Muslims together after discussions organized by the World Council of Churches.

Four PC(USA) publications also were commended for study and reflection, after a brief discussion about whether some inappropriately promote conversion of Muslims rather than dialogue. More than 70 percent of GA commissioners voted to retain all the publications as valuable resources for congregations.

The commissioners called on the General Assembly Council (GAC) to seek opportunities for dialogue through ecumenical efforts, urging solidarity "with people of all ethnic and religious traditions who face discrimination in response to world events and the perceived interests of the United States."

The Assembly approved a report about the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and its Caribbean and North American Area Council and appointed delegates to both. WARC represents more than 75 million Christians in 200 denominations. Dr. C.S. Song, its president, spoke briefly to the commissioners.

At the committee's request, commissioners were shown a video about the PC(USA), the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America, which have strengthened relations and will hold a combined General Assembly in 2006. 
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