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Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future

International Consultation
Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future

Geneva, Switzerland



At the joint invitation of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Islamic Call Society (WICS), the Royal Aal al Bayt Institute and the Consortium of A Common Word, 64 Muslim and Christian leaders, scholars, and activists from around the world gathered in Geneva, from 1 to 4 November 2010, to develop concrete ways of building a common future, in order to achieve more compassionate and just societies, based on equality, co-citizenship, and mutual respect.

Nature and objectives

Very few meetings have like this one been organized as a jointly prepared and jointly sponsored consultation. It has been made possible because of the shared experience over recent decades of international Christian and Muslim consultations:

Motivated by our commitment to interfaith dialogue, the consultation aimed to help Muslims and Christians move beyond the discourse of minority and majority towards upholding the principle of shared citizenship. We desired to stress the role of religion in reconciliation, instead of allowing it to be identified with conflict, and to emphasize the importance of education in eliminating mistrust among religious communities.

With this in mind the consultation focused on three main areas:
- Beyond Majority and Minority.
- From Conflict to Compassionate Justice.
- Education for Understanding and Shared Citizenship.

In the opening session representatives of the organizers presented their perspectives on the theme of the consultation. Short lectures by invited experts on each of the topics were presented to the full consultation. Parallel working groups then listened to local experiences from around the world presented by participants. On this basis they then considered the themes in ways which combined theoretical and practical perspectives.

Opening session

Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, opened the proceedings by welcoming the participants and thanking the Muslim partners for their commitment to this project. The consultation builds on the long experience of such meetings in which the WCC has been an active and committed partner. From its origins the WCC has been committed not only to the oikoumene of the Christian churches but that of all humanity. The General Secretary spoke of his experience as chair of the church

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