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JORDAN: Muslim leaders recognize contribution of Christians

The Churches and Christian communities of the Middle East appreciate and follow, with optimism, the initiatives of institutions and Muslim leaders in the region “who have engaged in the rejection of extremism and violence, and have affirmed the respect for diversity, and recognized the role of the Christian component as an original and fundamental factor of the Arab civilization and of the entire region, advocating that this factor is to be preserved.”

This is how the heads and the representatives of all the Churches and ecclesial communities wanted to pay tribute to the influential community representatives of Islamic institutions who, faced with the troubled events taking place in the Middle East, have recognized the Christian presence in Middle East as an indigenous factor and indispensable component of Middle Eastern societies.

They highlighted this in the final message issued at the end of the XIth Assembly of the Council of Middle Eastern Churches, in Amman. “The Assembly" - reads the document - "hopes that these attitudes expressed by institutions and Muslim representatives are translated into practical measures, to switch to a new model of collaboration and sharing.”

The text, released at the end of the Assembly, expresses shared considerations and criteria from Christian Churches with regard to the difficulties and the tragedies that mark the current Middle East. Among other things, the intention to set up a delegation in charge of visiting the countries of the Middle East is expressed in order to meet with civic and religious leaders, including leaders of major institutions such as the Sunni Islamic University of Al Azhar and the Shia of Qom, together to seek solutions that promote the continuity of the Christian presence in the region. The heads of Churches and Christian communities invite the international community to intervene to stop the Syrian conflict, refraining “from providing weapons to terrorist groups” and pursuing a peaceful solution of the Syrian crisis that does not put at risk “the unity of Syria” and the coexistence of different ethnic and religious groups within civil society.

The document recalls the responsibility of the Arab countries and the international community regarding the reception for and support to displaced persons, putting also into account the future support to be given to the “return” of refugees to their native lands “as soon as possible.” It also reiterates its support to the cause of the Palestinian people and its right to statehood, and calls for an end to the abnormal situation experienced by the island of Cyprus, restoring the territorial unity and guaranteeing the rights of all its citizens.

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