Islamic Leaders Send Christmas Greetings

Amman, Dec. 27, 2007 ( – A group of Islamic leaders has issued Christmas greetings to the world’s Christians, following up on an October call for greater dialogue between the two faiths.

The Islamic statement, signed by 129 prominent Muslims from all around the world, thanks the many Christians who have responded to the October call– entitled “A Common Word”– which was issued by many of the same Muslim leaders. The “Common Word” initiative is supported by the Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, headed by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan.

The full text of the Christmas greeting and of the original appeal released in October can be found on a web site set up by the Common Word project.

In their Christmas appeal the Islamic leaders note that Christmas coincided with the conclusion of the annual hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. They conclude their message with a prayer that the coming year will bring “humble repentance before God, and mutual forgiveness within and between communities.”

The “Common Word” leaders note the moral principles shared by the “Abrahamic faiths,” including the determination to uphold the sanctity of human life. The Christmas greeting includes a plea for Christians and Muslims to join to “do their utmost to save, uphold, and treasure every single human life and especially the life of every single child.”

In November, Pope Benedict XVI (bionews) responded to the Islamic leaders’ message with a letter to Prince Ghazi, inviting him to designate representatives who could participate in further inter-religious talks at the Vatican.