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Response from Clifton Kirkpatrick

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sharon K. Youngs, Communications Coor.
October 15, 2007
(888) 728-7228, ext. 5750;syoungs@ctr.pcusa.org
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.)
Office of the General Assembly
100 Witherspoon St. ~ Louisville, KY ~ 40202-1396
www.pcusa.org/oga

Kirkpatrick welcomes invitation from Muslim religious leaders and scholars

Call for mutual accountability is ‘bold and heartening’

LOUISVILLE—Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has issued a response to an invitation from Muslim religious leaders and scholars worldwide to Christians to pursue peace and justice together.

The invitation, “A Common Word Between Us and You,” from 138 Muslim leaders to the Christian world is online at www.acommonword.com.

Calling the invitation “very important,” Kirkpatrick writes, “We might especially heed the letter’s appeal to Christians and Muslims to cooperate for peace since, as its writers’ note, ‘our common future is at stake,’ and the relationship between our two religious communities may be ‘the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world.’”

The full text of Kirkpatrick’s letter:

In issuing “A Common Word Between Us and You,” Muslim religious leaders and scholars from around the world have invited Christians to come together in pursuit of peace and justice, rooted in the principles of love of the One God, and love of our neighbors found in both our faiths. (Seehttp://www.acommonword.com/.)

I welcome this invitation and the careful articulation of the Qur’anic and biblical ideas underlying it. A Common Word offers much that is worth our study and consideration.

The words of this invitation call us to redouble our efforts to understand how Muslims and Christians can live together in respect in many different contexts, particularly where conflict threatens the fabric of life. Its call for mutual accountability among Muslims and Christians for communal life and for peace is bold and heartening. We might especially heed the letter’s appeal to Christians and Muslims to cooperate for peace since, as its writers’ note, “our common future is at stake,” and the relationship between our two religious communities may be “the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world.”

I urge Presbyterians to read this letter from the Muslim community, to continue to build honest, searching, and respectful relations with Muslims in our local communities and in our nation, and to seek opportunities for common action where compatible means and ends exist.

May we in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) do our part to work for mutuality, justice, and peace in witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ, redeeming and healing the world.