Arab Orthodox Patriarchs endorse A Common Word in the Final Communique of the Third International Conference of “Coexistence and Peace Making”
THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
“COEXISTENCE AND PEACE MAKING”
January 22-23rd, 2008
The Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center (JICRC)
Amman, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Under the patronage of HM King Abdullah II, The Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center (JICRC) organized its 3rd international conference on January 22-23, 2008. Senior Muslim leaders and Christian heads of every church in the Middle East participated in the conference. Also participating was an envoy of the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, in addition to scholars and civic leaders interested in interfaith dialogue.
Gathering in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the homeland of coexistence, security, and land of the Amman Message, of moderation, tolerance, human justice, love and acceptance of the Other, met on the land which is a part of this blessed region where security and peace prevail.
The participants reiterated that, as people who believe in the One God, and as people of the same legacy of coexistence in this region, Muslim and Christian, they seek in this difficult era, to build together their present and future society in a spirit of mutual responsibility so that comprehensive peace and real justice prevails in the region and in the world as a whole.
The participants asserted their agreement on the following:
- Respect of religious freedom and belief
- Respect of all messengers (and prophets), holy books, and religious texts and prohibition of any desecration.
- All holy places should be respected and made freely accessible to believers.
- All religious symbols must be respected and any desecration should be prohibited and prevented.
- Respect for responsible freedom of expression which does not harm the belief and feelings of others.
- To continue dialogue and cooperation among people so that justice, peace, development and decent living, called for by the human and religious teachings of the heavenly religions, can be achieved.
- To expand dialogue from the circles of the elite to larger community groups on the basis of cooperation and mutual respect.
- School curriculum must include the call for and encouragement of dialogue, acceptance and respect of the Other.
- Improve the use of media to encourage dialogue between followers of different religions.
- To make use of national and religious events and occasions to encourage interfaith interaction, strengthen relationships and enrich endeavors of peoples.
At the end of the conference, participants sent a telegram of thanks and gratitude to HM King Abdullah II for patronizing the conference and in recognition of his continued and generous endeavors to support coexistence.
The conferees expressed their high appreciation for the open letter “A COMMON WORD BETWEEN US AND YOU”, which was sponsored by the Royal Academy of AL AL-BAYT INSTITUTE FOR ISLAMIC THOUGHT in Amman, and signed by 138 prominent Muslim scholars representing countries from several continents. The number of signatories today has increased to over 228.
The letter announces the common ground among Islam and Christianity, namely the two main commandments; love God and love one’s fellow man (neighbor).
The conferees praised the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center (JICRC) in Amman, Jordan where the Amman Message was birthed, for the generous hospitality and the fine organization of the conference. They expressed their gratitude for the versatile endeavors of JICRC in the field of coexistence at the local and international levels and complemented its initiatives in the field of dialogue between religions and cultures.
The conferees thanked the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, and the Church of Norway and also thanked the cooperation of the Middle East Council of Churches for its cooperation.
The conference issued a document entitled “Islamic Christian Interfaith Coexistence” and was signed by all participants.
List of Signatories
- H.E. Zaid Al-Rifai, Speaker of The Upper House, Jordan.
- H.E. Fayez Tarawneh, chair, organizing Committee of the conference.
- His Eminence Sheikh Izz al-Din al-Khatib al-Tamimi, chairman, JICRC.
- H.E. Prof. Dr. Abdul Salam Abbadi – State Advisor for Islamic and Religious Affairs, President of Al al-Bayt University.
- Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, represented by Sheikh Omar Al-Deeb.
- His Eminence Sheikh Taysir Tamimi – Chief Justice of Palestine.
- Dr. Wael Arabiyat – Faculty of Sharia – University of Jordan.
- His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria, represented by Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Wahbi Sulaiman.
- His Eminence Dr. Salah Eddin Kuftaro, President of Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro Center, Damascus, Syria.
- HE Mr. Abdel Salam Rajeh, Dean of the Faculty of Sharia , Member of the Syrian parliament
- Sheikh Hatem Bakri, Secretary of the Supreme Religious Council, Palestine.
- Sheikh Ibrahim Mohammad Reza, The Ministry of Awqaf, Egypt.
- His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch of Alexandria, represented by Anba Abraham Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem and the Near East.
- His Eminence, HB Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, represented by Archbishop Boulos Matar, Beirut.
- His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III – Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and Alexandria and Jerusalem for Melkite Catholics.
- His Holiness Catholicos Aram I – represented by Archbishop Sebouh Sargsian Bishop of Tehran and representative of the Armenian Orthodox Catholicosate.
- His Holiness Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka Iwas, Supreme Head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, represented by Bishop Mar Soerios Melki Murad.
- Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, Patriarch of Antioch and All The East for Roman Catholics, represented by Metropolite Luka Al-Khouri.
- His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius Boutros VIII, of Antioch and All the East for Syriac Catholics.
- Bishop Youhanna Qalteh, Patriarch alvicar of the Coptic Catholics.
- Dr. Guirgis Saleh, Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches.
- Very Rev. Nabil Haddad, Executive Director, JICRC
- Bishop Munib Younan, Head of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.
- Archbishop Yasser Al-Ayyash, Bishop of Melkite Catholics, Jordan.
- Bishop Elias Chaccoure, Archbishop of the Galilee for Melkite Catholics, Jordan.
- Bishop Suhail Duwani, President of the Arab Evangelical Episcopal Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.
- Ms. Reem Nasser, Muslim Activist and member of the council of Greater Amman Municipality.
- Dr. Nasim Abu Khudair – Director of Religious Programs, Jordan Radio and Television.
- Mr. Omar Al-Jamal, King Abdullah II Institute for the Preparation of Preachers. (Imams)
- Marwan Al-Fa’ouri, Secretary General of the World Forum for Wasatia.
- Prof. Dr. Hamdi Murad, Muslim Scholar and Member, JICRC.
- Dr. Jeryes Khoury, Al-Liqa Center, Jerusalem.
- Very Rev. Father George Khoam Al-Boulsi, St. Paul Institute of Philosophy and Theology.
- Dimitri Dailiani, Christian National Assembly in Palestine.
- Hamed Rajab Tamimi, Adviser of Interfaith Dialogue, Department of Chief Justice, Palestine.
- Dr. Ali Al-Manaseer, Jordan.
- Dr. Zaid Al-Muhaisin, Adviser to the Mayor of Amman.