In a joint communiqué issued on 27 April, delegations from the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Muslim Council of Elders (MCE) jointly stressed the importance of valuing diversity, assuring equal rights, and of being able to build mutual relationships with others.
Meeting at Al Azhar University in Cairo on the theme of “The Role of Religious Leaders to Promote Initiatives on Citizenship and Peaceful Co-existence”, the delegations reflected on the “importance of working, in each of our respective nations, for the affirmation of the common nature of our citizenship.”
“There were difficulties in our respective past, and sometimes mutual misunderstanding in our present, but these should not stop people of good will from working together for a peaceful future,” they said.
“Religious leaders should promote this concept of citizenship for the benefit of all communities. We may be diverse in a number of ways, but this diversity is something to be valued and to be offered for the positive building up of our societies,” they added.
The leaders of the two delegations agreed and signed a protocol of cooperation which formally expressed their strong commitment both to continue to meet for dialogue and also to ensure that this dialogue resulted in fruitful discussions and practical expressions of working together for peace-building.
The delegation of the Muslim Council of Elders was led by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, His Eminence Professor Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb, and the delegation of the World Council of Churches (WCC) by Dr Agnes Abuom, Moderator of the Central Committee of the WCC and Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary. The meeting was the second consecutive meeting of its kind, following a visit of the MCE to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, in September 2016.
Day of Muslim-Christian dialogue unfolds in Egypt (WCC press release of 26 April 2017)