With all the instability in many Muslim countries, there is a
higher need for Christians and Muslims to engage in dialogue and
ultimately to find ways to promote peace. Rome's community of Sant'
Egidio brought together leading theologians to delve into the issue.
Among them were experts from Iraq, where religious extremism has been on the rise.
Waleed Faraj Alla
Theology Professor, University of Kufa (Iraq)
not primarily a conflict between faiths or religions. What is happening
in Iraq has no religious connotation. We hope that in one year or so,
there can come a solution for Iraq.”
region of Al Najaf, in southern Iraq, is a refuge for Shia Muslims who
have fled from the Islamic State. In their interpretation of sharia law, these Muslims are also considered unfaithful, along with Christians and Yazidis.
see these terrible things and condemn these violent actions against
Shiites, Christians and Yazidis. We hope that these refugees can return
with dignity to their homes and end this tragic situation. For us, there
is nothing more serious than violence against people, especially women
and children. We hope that peace comes.”
many Christians and even moderate Muslims who were forced out of their
homes, are hoping for the chance to go back and leave the life of
refugees behind them. For generations they co-existed peacefully and they want have that same chance, again.
do not like to talk about 'minorities' when talking about Christians
and Yazidis. For we are brothers and sisters, and we reject the concept
of 'majority' and 'minority.' We are all children of God. We all have
the same rights and duties based on equality.”
As instability continues to be a factor in many Middle Eastern countries, inter-faith dialogue continues to be a beacon of hope.