New Accords in Muslim-Christian Relations

Conference on Coexistence and Peacemaking in Jordan, Jan. 2008

The Third conference on Coexistence and Peacemaking in Amman, Jordan, sponsored by the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center, issued a communique pledging to uphold freedom of religion, respect for holy places, symbols and writings, and seeking free access for all for holy sites.

For the report and the final communique, click here.

In October of 2007, 138 Muslim scholars issued “A Common Word” addressed to the Pope and other Christian leaders outlining that the heart of Islam and Christianity was love of God and neighbor and citing quotations from the Bible and the Quran illustrating this.

Read more…

This all follows in the Spirit of the Amman Message, an initiative of King Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to raise up the voices of moderation in Islam and speak out against violence and extremism committed in the name of Islam.

For more information, click here.

The Amman Call for International Peace

Issued at the WCC International Peace Conference
“Churches together for Peace and Justice in the Middle East”

Amman, Jordan, 18-20 June 2007

Amman imperatives:

1. Almost sixty years have passed since the Christian churches first spoke with one voice about Arab-Israeli peace. For the last forty years the Christian churches have called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In the very place where Jesus Christ walked upon the earth, walls now separate families and the children of God – Christian, Muslim and Jew — are imprisoned in a deepening cycle of violence, humiliation and despair. The Palestinian Christians from Gaza to Jerusalem and to Nazareth, have called out to their brothers and sisters in Christ with this urgent plea: “Enough is enough. No more words without deeds. It is time for action.”

Read the entire document at The World Council of Churches

Evangelical Churches in the Middle East Reach Historic Accord Amman Declaration

2006 Amman Declaration

Mutual Recognition of Evangelical Middle East Churches

From the east and from the west around the Holy Land, they gathered in Amman in January of 2006 for an historical occasion. Evangelicals from Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Kuwait, Iran, Algeria and Tunisia signed together “The Amman Declaration Agreement of Full Mutual Recognition of Lutheran and Reformed Churches in the Middle East and North Africa.” What does it mean to be an Evangelical in the Arab world today?

These churches are working together to explore the unique challenges and opportunities they face as they seek to carry out God’s mission in their regions. The churches have mutually recognized one another’s ministries and agreed upon a declaration of faith including beliefs in the Trinitarian God, justification by faith, the sacraments and the preaching of the gospel. They have agreed to mutual participation in one another’s worship, con-celebration of the Sacraments, common prophetic witness for justice and peace and other joint activities that will promote ecumenical and interfaith witness and service to God’s people in our lands.

Recognizing that “the divisions between us are contrary to God’s will that we be one,” these partners have achieved an extraordinary ecumenical expression of unity through a deliberate process of dialogue and study begun in 1991 through the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC). FMEEC which was established in 1974 as a result of long history of cooperation between Arab evangelicals working together on the diverse and unique challenges presented to evangelicals in the Arab world.

Please keep these churches in your thoughts and prayers.

  • The EvangelicalLutheranChurch in Jordan and the Holy Land
  • The National Evangelical Union of Lebanon
  • Synod of the Nile, Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Egypt
  • The National EvangelicalChurch in Kuwait
  • Synod of the EvangelicalChurch in Iran
  • Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East

The Amman Message Anniversary

In late October, Bishop Younan joined almost 200 Muslim, Christian and Jewish faith leaders gathered in Amman for the one year anniversary of the release of the Amman Message by King Abdullah last year. The Amman Message is an initiative to raise the moderate voices of Islam who interpret the Koran as teaching co-existence, peace and justice among all people. Learned scholars, patriarchs and church leaders spoke about the importance of taking this message to the world to help temper the fundamentalism and extremism that threatens a true understanding of the faith as they see it. One scholar reminded the group that the standard Muslim greeting is one of Peace: May Peace be upon you. Others urged the world to listen to other voices of Islam.

“Just as we don’t judge Christians by the actions of those who came to occupy our lands, and just as we don’t judge Judaism by the actions of their extremists, so we ask the world not to judge Islam by the actions of a few extremists. Bid Laden and Zakawe are criminals and killers. They do not represent Islam,” said Salah El-Din Kaftaro from Syria.

Bishop Younan spoke on a panel about Christianity’s role in helping the Amman initiative. He praised the initiative for its theology that promotes an Islamic theology of tolerance, love and mutual respect for one another. It also condemns any kind of terrorism or extremism. He said the Arab Christian Church can be instrumental in building bridges between Islam and the Western world because of its 1400 years of living peacefully with Muslims.

See www.kingabdullah.jo for the full Amman Message …