altAMMAN – A symposium was held on Monday, October 8 in Amman Jordan which brought together a large number of Bishops representing different churches, priests, monks, nuns, religious and secular Muslims from all over the Kingdom for a conference on the Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente.”

The symposium was held at the Hussein Cultural Center in Amman, organized by the Centre for Catholic Studies and Training Media and the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, in cooperation with Caritas Jordan.

The Minister of Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, Abdel Salam El Abadi, began by saying that the overall vision of Muslims was reflected in detail in the document with the aim to achieve the good and well-being of the society.

Search for common platforms

The Minister stated that we should look for common platforms that serve humanity, while advocating for cooperation to end attacks against religious shrines and Holy places..

Father Rifa’at Bader, Director of the Catholic Media Centre said that the symposium was to discuss the most important document issued by the Church and the Vatican that deals with the Christians of the Middle East . The document is considered a message to all the inhabitants of the region so that they can advance interreligious dialogue.

Father Bader denounced all anti-religious actions in Jerusalem.

Dr. Kamel Abu Jaber, Director of the Royal Institute, stressed that Christianity has recognized Islam, similarly, Islam has embraced the Arab Christians as one of the essential and largest components of its civilization.

Theological bases

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio in Jordan stressed that interreligious dialogue, as described by Pope Benedict XVI, was not dictated by pragmatic political or social considerations, but that it emanated from theological basis concurrent with our faith.

Bishop Maroun Lahham, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan explained the fundamental principles contained in the papal document that were of particular interest in the Middle East.

Dr. Abdallah Kilani, a professor of Islamic Sahri’a at the University of Jordan, said that the danger was watching religions justify wars waged by irresponsible extremists. He said that religious freedom included the freedom of belief, practice and rituals of worship.

Finally, Abdelhadi El Raji Majali, Director of the El Hussein Cultural Centre, concluded that Christianity has the values of tolerance, love, peace and selflessness.

Laurent Charnin (with