Religious leaders urged to spread interfaith values

AMMAN (JT) - His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday received a delegation comprising participants in the Second Muslim-Catholic Forum, which opened at the Baptism Site in the Jordan Valley on Monday, according to a Royal Court statement.

During the meeting, King Abdullah lauded participants’ efforts and emphasised the importance of the forum, held under the theme “Reason, Faith and Mankind”, in promoting dialogue and highlighting the common values among followers of the different religions.

“The forum is the outcome of ongoing initiatives to foster concepts embraced by both Muslims and Christians, which we have asserted in the Amman Message and the Common Word initiative,” King Abdullah told the participants.

The Amman Message is a statement Jordan issued in 2004 calling for tolerance and explaining Islam’s rejection of violence and intolerance and its stand on issues like the relationship between the Muslim nation and other civilisations and communities.

In 2007, Jordan led efforts where 138 Muslim scholars drafted “A Common Word Between Us and You”, to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam.

The Monarch also urged the participants to convey their experiences and ideas on the values in common among monotheistic and Abrahamic religions to their communities to enhance moderation and mutual respect, stressing Jordan’s drive towards reform, openness and democracy.

Addressing the delegates, King Abdullah underlined the importance of Jerusalem as a symbol of interfaith coexistence in the region.

Muslim and Catholic scholars, intellectuals and clerics from 18 Islamic and non-Islamic countries are taking part in the three-day forum, hosted by Al al Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, according to a statement by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

In statements to the press following the meeting, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said it is essential to disseminate the outcome of the forum so that the followers of the different religions can practise the values of coexistence and tolerance within their own communities.

Moreover, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Ali Jumaa said such meetings create sound relations, depict true pictures and eliminate deformations, commending Jordan’s role in supporting interfaith dialogue initiatives.