Interfaith Dialogues

 "The history of Christianity is also the history of Christian relationships with other faith traditions." - S. Wesley Ariarajah, former director of inter-religions relations at the World Council of Churches

 

MARTINH Davos Wikipediacc FaithleadersUnderstanding the relationship between Christianity and other religious traditions has been important since the beginnings of the Church - Christianity itself came out of a Jewish tradition.

The starting point for inter faith dialogue can be our common humanity, the need in a plural world to work together for common human ends, and the need for neighbourliness. 

It was with this understanding that the Lambeth Conference in 1988 called Anglicans to strengthen their relationships with people of other faiths, through dialogue built on mutual understanding, respect and trust. Such dialgoue makes it possible for Christians to share with others in service to the community, and can become a medium of authentic Christian witness. 

Needed more than ever

It needs to be faced honestly that in parts of the Anglican Communion, such as Nigeria, Sudan and Pakistan, some sections of other faith communities are persecutors of Christians.

Where this is the case, dialogue with the dominant faith group may still be possible. But Christians must also be prepared to engage in advocacy on behalf of fellow Christians in difficult situations.

This is why at the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolved to 'respectfully...request the governments of nations where such discrimination and harassment are common occurrences to affirm their commitment to religious liberty.' The bishops also asked all Anglicans to support persecuted Christians by prayer, encouragement, and practical and economic assistance. 

With an increasing number of attacks by extremist religious groups on faith traditions around the world, there has perhaps been no better time for members of the Anglican Communion to actively dialogue with members of other faith traditions who hold common values of promoting peace, social justice and religious liberty. 

Click the links on the left to learn more about the dialogues set up between members of the Anglican Communion and of the Muslim and Jewish communities.

Also, click here to learn more about the Anglican Communion's Inter-Anglican Network on Inter Faith Concerns that was set up in 1993 (that was renamed the Network for Inter Faith Concerns - NIFCON) to link those in different provinces with a particular concern for inter faith relations, and co-ordinate news and resources in this area.