Blair says Christians, Muslims both face ‘challenge of relevance’

WASHINGTON — Christians and Muslims alike face “the challenge of relevance” in today’s society, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Oct. 7 at Georgetown University. The challenge includes “showing how faith can be a force for the future, for progress, that it will not fade as science and technology and material prosperity alters the way we live,” Blair said. “We face an aggressive secular attack from without. We face the threat of extremism, often from within,” he added. “These challenges are not for Muslims alone or Christians alone or Jews, Hindus or Buddhists for that matter. They are challenges for all people of faith. “Those who scorn God and those who do violence in God’s name both represent views of religion. But both offer no hope for faith in the 21st century,” he said.

Blair, who became a Catholic months after he stepped down in mid-2007 after a 10-year run as Britain’s prime minister, spoke at a Georgetown-sponsored conference, “A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Agenda for Change.”