Bahrain hosted the first meeting of the Permanent Committee for Islamic-Christian Dialogue, bringing together Islamic scholars and representatives of the Catholic Church.
Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council for Elders headed the meeting attended by members of the council and the Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue.
The Permanent Committee for Islamic-Christian Dialogue was established under a joint memorandum of understanding between the Abu Dhabi-based Muslim Council of Elders and the Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue as a direct result of the Bahrain Dialogue Forum: East and West for Human Coexistence, which took place in the Kingdom of Bahrain last November. The forum was attended by His Holiness Pope Francis, during his historic visit to Bahrain and His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.
His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and His Holiness Pope Francis have met nine times since May 2016, and their meetings have had deep impact at all levels to better relations between the world’s leading religions.
The inaugural meeting of the Permanent Committee for Islamic-Christian Dialogue aimed at coordinating joint efforts and initiatives to enhance dialogue and coexistence among people of different religious and cultural backgrounds and to support Islamic-Christian dialogue. It is also part of the Bahrain Dialogue Forum’s calls to support joint projects between Islam and Christianity and to promote dialogue and coexistence on a global level.
“We thank Bahrain and His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, not only for welcoming this committee, but for his faith and support for dialogue between different religions, faiths and cultures, and for his efforts in this field,” Judge Abdul Salam said.
He indicated that the meeting was exceptional with the most important Islamic and Christian figures discussing challenges and prominent issues, including climate change, and the role of religious figures in addressing such problems that threaten the future of humanity.
Cardinal Miguel Ayuso, President of Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue said: “The declaration of Bahrain remains always another cornerstone for building human fraternity, tolerance, understanding, and collaboration. I’m very happy that our first meeting had made it here in Manama, to further promote and implement the culture of spreading peace.”
“I accompanied the holy father on his visit to Bahrain, and we are deeply thankful, and this has been praised so many times by HH the Pope for the warm welcome by His Majesty the King. I would like to thank everyone for the efforts made and all facilities that were given and particularly all the people and population who have been so warm to welcoming us,”
Source: Bahrain News Agency