Vatican to Muslims: Let's Fight Violence Together

Stress Importance of Education Toward Respect

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 27, 2010 ( The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sent a message to Muslims, underlining the need for a joint effort against violence. 

The message, published today by the Vatican, was sent to all Muslims on the occasion of the end of Ramadan, which this year will take place Sept. 10.

«Throughout this month, you have committed yourselves to prayer, fasting, helping the neediest and strengthening relations of family and friendship,» the message affirmed. «God will not fail to reward these efforts!»

The message, which was signed by the council president, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and secretary, Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, centered on the theme, «Christians and Muslims: Together in overcoming violence among followers of different religions.»

The prelates noted that this theme is, «unfortunately, a pressing subject, at least in certain areas of the world.»

They acknowledged that «the Joint Committee for Dialogue instituted by the Pontifical Council and al-Azhar Permanent Committee for Dialogue among the Monotheistic Religions had also chosen this topic as a subject of study, reflection and exchange during its last annual meeting,» which took place in Cairo last February.

In their message, the Vatican officials underlined some of the conclusions published at the end of this meeting.

«There are many causes for violence among believers of different religious traditions,» they noted.

The message outlined some of these causes, such as: «the manipulation of the religion for political or other ends; discrimination based on ethnicity or religious identity; divisions and social tensions.»

«Ignorance, poverty, underdevelopment are also direct or indirect sources of violence among as well as within religious communities,» it added.

Common good

The prelates exhorted: «May the civil and religious authorities offer their contributions in order to remedy so many situations for the sake of the common good of all society! 

«May the civil authorities safeguard the primacy of the law by ensuring true justice to put a stop to the authors and promoters of violence!»

The message also highlighted some «important recommendations» published after the February meeting.

Among these, it included: «to open our hearts to mutual forgiveness and reconciliation, for a peaceful and fruitful coexistence; to recognize what we have in common and to respect differences, as a basis for a culture of dialogue; and to recognize and respect the dignity and the rights of each human being without any bias related to ethnicity or religious affiliation.»

The message underlined the «necessity to promulgate just laws which guarantee the fundamental equality of all.»

It also recommended recalling «the importance of education towards respect, dialogue and fraternity in the various educational arenas: at home, in the school, in churches and mosques.»

«Thus,» the prelates urged, «we will be able to oppose violence among followers of different religions and promote peace and harmony among the various religious communities.»

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