St. Augustine Congress in Algeria to Gather 3 Faiths

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ALGIERS, Algeria, MAR. 28, 2001 (ZENIT.orgFIDES).- St. Augustine of Hippo has become the inspiration for Muslims, Jews and Christians to meet in Algeria, a country bloodied by Muslim fundamentalist terrorism.

An international convention, entitled “St. Augustine: African and Universal,” has been organized jointly by the Islamic High Council of Algeria, the Swiss University of Fribourg, and the Institute of Patristic Studies of Rome. The meeting will be held in two venues: in Algiers (from April 1-4), and in Annaba, formerly Hippo (from April 5-6).

“It will be an excellent opportunity for intellectual comparison of Islamic and Christian thought,” Archbishop Henri Teissier of Algiers told the Vatican agency Fides. “St. Augustine raises questions that are important for every human being, such as freedom and the search for truth.”

The archbishop said that the most recent acts of violence in this country of 31.1 million people should be regarded as isolated episodes.

“True Muslims want dialogue and reconciliation,” he said. “The convention on St. Augustine confirms this, and the guests of honor include Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.”

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