The Archbishop of Wales will praise the “open and honest” relationship that exists in Wales between Christians and Muslims in a lecture tomorrow (Tuesday Nov 22) to celebrate National Interfaith week.
Dr Barry Morgan will pay tribute to the Muslim Council of Wales, as well as the First Minister, for their commitment to promoting good relations between people of different faiths.
He will say, “I want to thank the Muslim Council of Wales and Saleem Kidwai, its Secretary General, in particular, for all he has done to foster good interfaith relationships in Wales over the last decade. Because of his commitment to our common Faith journey and because the fostering of good interfaith relationships has been high on the agenda of our own Welsh Government, I also want to thank the First Minister for continuing the sterling work of his predecessor Rhodri Morgan for this. Wales has not seen some of the problems encountered in other parts of the United Kingdom.
“The purpose of an evening such as this is for both Christians and Muslims to set out as cogently as they can, the kernel of what they believe so that we can understand one another better. What I have deeply valued over the last ten years in our relationship is the willingness to be totally open and honest with one another. We have not attempted to gloss over our differences and pretended that there aren’t any. Although our two faiths have much in common there are crucial differences as well and it honours no-one to pretend that that is not the case.”
In his lecture, at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Dr Morgan will offer a Christian perspective on faith. Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, a leading UK Iman, will offer a Muslim perspective. First Minister Carwyn Jones will be guest of honour and will make presentations to three people for their contribution to community cohesion work: Revd Canon Robin Morrison, retired Church and Society Adviser for the Church in Wales, Professor John King, retired pro-Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University, and Michael Griffiths, retired head-teacher of Cardiff High School. The event is organised by the Muslim Council of Wales.
Saleem Kidwai, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales, commented that "the event promises to illuminate the way in which faith plays a part in the fabric of our society, and what it can offer to believer and non-believer alike.” Saleem Kidwai concluded by saying that "Muslims and Christians make up over half the world's population, and Islam and Christianity have a long and glorious history both globally and locally in Wales. Interfaith events such as this are not simply a luxury but a necessity to ensure that we all take part in creating a cohesive and close society based on friendship and trust”.
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