Letter by Christians noted in Muslim world

Several weeks ago, 138 Muslim scholars, sent a lengthy letter entitled ‘A Common Word Between Us and You,’ to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders. As was noted in these pages last week, numerous American Christian scholars responded positively with a letter of their own.

That Christian response is receiving an appreciative response in the Muslim world. The Gulf News (United Arab Emirates):

Dr Habib Ali Al Jafri, Muslim propagator, said: “I am happy with this letter, which is considered as an unprecedented step to bring the Islamic and Christian faiths and civilisations closer.”

Speaking at a press conference held yesterday at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, Al Jafri said Muslims and Christians make up 55 per cent of the world’s population, and this new closeness serves as the first firm step towards returning to peace, brotherhood and harmony between people.

He added that more steps would follow in response to the apology to enhance interfaith dialogue. The letter from Muslim scholars was sent to 27 Christian heads of churches around the world, including the Vatican.

Twenty-five of them replied, but no reply has been received yet from the Vatican and an Orthodox church, Al Jafri said.

… The clerics who signed the letter are from all over the world, mostly from the US….

The Gulf News also published the letter in full with the list of signatories which included several bishops of The Episcopal Church. And here is the paper’s editorial comment.

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