ABC’s Building Bridges Conference Cancelled

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s important Building Bridges conference has been cancelled at the last minute by the Malaysian government. Abp. Williams has called together several previous conferences to promote Muslim-Christian dialogue. The Malaysian Council of Churches is asking the government for reconsideration of the decision.

Ruth Gledhill, religious correspondent for the The Times, UK. reports:

Christian and Muslim scholars from around the world had bought air tickets, written papers and begun to pack their bags for the Building Bridges conference, the sixth in a series intended to foster dialogue between the two religions. It was cancelled with just two weeks notice.

The three-day conference was set up in the wake of September 11 and meant to be an annual get-together of Christian and Muslim academics in an attempt to find theological understandings that might help prevent future terrorist attacks.

At the first conference, at Lambeth Palace in London six years ago, Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, fêted Tony Blair. In return, the Prime Minister invited the Muslim and Christian scholars to a high-profile reception at Downing Street.

Since then the scholars have met in New York, Qatar and Sarajevo. This year’s seminar in Malaysia was to signal a breakthrough in Muslim-Christian relations in a region where they are particularly delicate.

Read the article HERE. Gledhill has more at her blog.

Ecumenical News International is reporting:

The Council of Churches of Malaysia has appealed to the country’s government to reconsider a decision to withdraw support for a Christian-Muslim seminar that was to have been chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

More from Episcopal News Service

UPDATE, 15 May: Malaysian churches ask government to reschedule conference.

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