Holy See of Cilicia Hosts Muslim-Christian Theological Dialogue

Armenian and Iranian religious leaders at the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon.

ANTELIAS, Lebanon—The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran held a series of meetings and discussions at the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon on March 3 and 4. The two bodies adopted a joint statement at the conclusion of what was the sixth such event. The entire statement is below.

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“We praise the Almighty God who once again granted to us the opportunity to organize the Sixth Session of our theological dialogue at the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon.

We chose for our common reflection an extremely important and timely topic: Muslim-Christian Cooperation for Establishment of Just Peace in the Middle East. We discussed this subject from different perspectives by identifying its concrete challenges and implications today, in light of our traditions, teachings and experiences.

As the core of our common teachings, we affirmed that:

a) peace is a divine gift, and that the violation of peace is a sin against God; b) as God’s gift peace is just, comprehensive and lasting; c) peace is the fruit of justice, and that justice and peace are intimately interconnected; d) working for peace with justice is the vocation of Christians and Muslims.

With this firm understanding, we emphasized:

1) The importance of greater collaboration between Muslims and Christians in all parts of the world and particularly in the Middle East, based on mutual understanding and respect.

2) The urgency of combating violence and extremism in all their forms and expressions, as perceptions and practices that are against our two religions.

As our meeting coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we strongly condemn together with this Genocide all genocides and atrocities of the past and the present, perpetrated by individuals, groups or states. Such acts of violence are against the teachings of our religions and are not justifiable under any circumstances.

We emphasize the importance of the plan of action, “The world against extremism and violence” that was proposed by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Our dialogue reminds us the pivotal importance of peaceful co-habitation between Christians and Muslims and a closer collaboration aimed at restoring peace with justice in the Middle East.”

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