ANTELIAS (WCC/Armenpress)–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I left for Geneva today to preside over the international conference on Christian-Islam dialogue.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) will be hosting an international consultation on "Christians and Muslims in dialogue and beyond". The three-day consultation will take place from October 16-18 at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva–Switzerland.
His Holiness will deliver a speech at the conference on Christian-Islam dialogue and problems and challenges facing cooperation.
Dr. Tarek Mitri–WCC staff member for Inter-Religious Relations and Dialogue–says the WCC has invited 40 participants to gather for "a critical examination of the present state of relations between their respective communities and an assessment of what has been achieved." He said discussions will include "an exploration of future priorities," and are expected to focus on common action at the local level.
The event will be co-chaired by the WCC moderator of the WCC Central Committee–H.H. Aram I–Catholicos of the See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church (Antelias–Lebanon) and Dr. Mohamed S. El-Awa–an author and lawyer from Egypt.
Those addressing the opening-day theme of "Reflections on the present state of Muslim-Christian Relations" include:
Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz–secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
Sayyid Mohammad Ali Abtahi–president of the Institute for Inter-Religious Dialogue and vice-president of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Al-Sherif–general secretary–Islamic Call Society
Dr. Hamid Bin Ahmand Al-Rifaie–president–International Islamic Forum for Dialogue
Presentations from Christian points of view will be made by H.E. Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald–president of the Vatican "Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue" and the Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser–general secretary of the World Council of Churches.