Christian leaders have welcomed Thursday’s letter from 138 Islamic scholars calling for peace and understanding between Islam and Christianity.
As reported yesterday in Christian Today, the letter to various world Christian leaders, saw Muslim scholars from around the world say that finding common ground between the world’s largest religions was not simply a matter for polite dialogue between religious leaders.
In a statement released by the Evangelical Alliance, which represents more than a million evangelical Christians in the UK, it stated, “The letter rightly draws attention to the fact that love of God and love of neighbour are central to the Quran and the Bible. Any approach that is seeking to draw different religions into dialogue for the purpose of peace must be encouraged.”
The statement continued: “There is a real challenge to both faiths to counter extremism and those who would pursue the path of violence. If this letter can help in that fight, then we are grateful for it.”
In the letter by Muslim scholars, which was sent to Roman Catholic head Pope Benedict as well as Anglican head Dr Rowan Williams among others, it said: “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 world’s inhabitants.
“Our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake.”
The letter was also addressed to World Council of Churches head Dr Samuel Kobia, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I and other Orthodox church leaders, as well as leaders of world groupings of Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed Christians.
In a response to the letter, the Archbishop of Canterbury said, “The call to respect, peace and goodwill should now be taken up by Christians and Muslims at all levels and in all countries.”