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Statement by Center for Interreligious & Intercultural Dialogue of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization and Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

‘Christians and Muslims: Serving Humanity Together’

The following is the Final Statement given at the end of the Eleventh Colloquium between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Centre for Interreligious & Intercultural Dialogue (C.I.I.D.) of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (I.C.R.O.), Teheran. The Colloquium took place in Teheran, Iran from November 11-12, 2019, on the theme “Christians and Muslims: Serving Humanity Together”:

The Center for Interreligious & Intercultural Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue organized their Eleventh Colloquium on November 11-12, 2019 in Teheran, under the joint chairmanship of His Excellency Dr. Abuzar Ibrahimi Turkaman, President of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, and His Eminence Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The delegation of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization was comprised of the following:

Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri
Ayatollah Dr. Ahmad Beheshti
Ayatollah Dr. Reza Ramezani
Ayatollah Abolghasem Alidoust Abarghouei
Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Taskhiri
Dr. Mahmood Hekmatnia
Dr. Mohammad Mahdi Imanipour
Dr. Mohammad Mahdi Taskhiri
Dr. Mohammad Hossain Mozafari
Ms. Haydeh Ramazan Rostamabadi
Mr. Ali Asghar Ameri Bafghi

The delegation of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue was composed of the following:

Msgr. Khaled Akasheh
H.E. Archbishop Leo Boccardi
H.E. Monsignor Sarkis Davidian
Msgr. Patrick Valdrini
Rev. Laurent Basanese
Rev. Diego Sarrio Cucarella
Rev. Dr. David Marshall
Dr. Ghada Shbeir
Sister Nora Ishoui
Sister Rachel Youkhaneh

In the inaugural session, in addition to the opening remarks by Dr. Turkaman and Cardinal Ayuso Guixot, a talk was given by Ayatollah Abolghasem Alidoust Abarghouei, Faculty Member of the Islamic Research Institute for Culture and Thought on “Human Fraternity”.

The participants focused on the theme: “Christians and Muslims: Serving humanity together” from the viewpoints of Shia Islam and Catholicism. Papers were presented on the following subthemes:

1. Promoting individual rights and duties: Muslim and Christian Perspectives

2. Serving together the family and the education of the youth: Christian and Muslim Perspectives

3. Serving together in society: Muslim and Christian Perspectives

4. Serving together in the international community: Christian and Muslim Perspectives.

At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on the following:

1 – Service to others, especially the sick, the poor and the needy, is of capital importance to Christians and Muslims. In addition, serving others witnesses to the universal love of God for all human beings, because He created everyone and everything, and cares for all His creation with the same love.

2 – Service to humanity requires treatment of all human beings without discrimination across the world. All individuals, all communities and all nations should be treated with a sense of humanity, including in situations of war or under international sanctions.

3 – Muslims and Christians, along with all persons of goodwill who do not profess any particular religion, are called to promote fundamental human rights for everybody, everywhere, at all times. Freedom of conscience and of religion is the cornerstone of the edifice of human rights and therefore should be persevered and promoted.

4 – Duties are inseparable from rights. Therefore, every person and group, while defending their rights, should also do their best to fulfill their duties towards their families, communities, and societies.

5 – The formation of young people as both sincere believers and responsible citizens is of essential importance for religions and states alike. It is on families that the primary responsibility for this formation of young people falls; they thus have the right to be supported in this responsibility by the whole of society.

6 – A particular and urgent service to humanity today is the custody of creation, taking into consideration in particular climate change and the environmental crisis. This endeavor requires the collaboration of all believers and people of goodwill.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue expressed profound gratitude to the Center for Interreligious & Intercultural Dialogue and to the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization for their warm welcome and generous hospitality.

The participants decided to hold the next colloquium in Rome in 2021, to be preceded by a preparatory meeting in 2020.

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