Anglicans Welcome Letter From Muslims

LONDON (AP) — The leader of the world’s Anglicans on Thursday welcomed a letter from Islamic scholars and leaders urging Christians and Muslims to develop their common ground of belief in one God.

The letter carried 138 signatures, including those of Muslim leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Europe and the United States.

“The theological basis of the letter and its call to ‘vie with each other only in righteousness and good works; to respect each other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual good will,’ are indicative of the kind of relationship for which we yearn in all parts of the world, and especially where Christians and Muslims live together,” Archbishop Rowan Williams said.

The letter, addressed to the leaders of Catholic, Orthodox and Reformed churches, said that “finding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a matter for polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders.”

“If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world, with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the worlds inhabitants,” the letter said. “Thus our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake.”

The Anglican bishop of London, Richard Chartres, also welcomed the letter.

“This is substantial letter which speaks of the unity of God from a Muslim perspective,” Chartres said. “It demands a substantial response which approaches the same theme from a Christian perspective.”