Archive for April, 2010

Meeting God in Friend and Stranger

Fostering respect and mutual understanding between the religions

On St George’s Day, 23 April 2010, Christian and Muslim members of the Christian Muslim Forum attended the launch of ‘Meeting God in Friend & Stranger’ by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales at the Archbishop of Westminster’s House.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols said, ‘This is a most important document addressing the theme of dialogue between the faiths. It, therefore, addresses many points of great significance for our society, not least for those who, at this moment, do not appreciate the importance of religious faith. I hope it receives widespread attention.’

We hope that many Christians, Muslims, and people of other faiths and beliefs will take the time to read this document which begins some key texts from the Christian Scriptures.

  • ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him (Acts 10:35)’
  • ‘From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him – though indeed he is not far from each one of us. (Acts 17:26-27)’

Other themes covered are:

  • Prayer and worship
  • Interreligious marriage
  • Local relationships
  • Catholic examples

Other Inter Faith Documents


Other News and Events from the Christian Muslim Forum

23 April, Death threats against a Muslim leader involved in inter faith dialogue
11 May, Social Attitudes Seminar, Issues about Religion in Today’s Society, London
15 May, Cross Crescent and Cool, dialogue training event for youth workers, London
4-6 June, Men’s Retreat, In the Footsteps of Abraham, Wales

30 June, 1 July, Friends and Neighbours, developing relationships between Christians and Muslims across the West Midlands, Coventry

Dialogue – Waging Peace in Difficult Times

In Support of a Friend

Inayat Ali Shakir, Chairman of Tehrik Akhuwat Islami Pakistan (TAI or ‘Interfaith Dialogue Committee’), is a friend of the Christian Muslim Forum since our early days. I have on my desk a copy of our first progress report which he translated into Urdu and circulated in Pakistan.

His personal commitment to inter faith initiatives and improving Christian-Muslim relations has been acknowledged by Rt Revd Alexander Malik, Bishop of Lahore, ‘TAI under the dynamic leadership of Allama Inayat Ali Shakir is playing an important part in promoting inter-religious dialogue and building bridges of understanding, trust and faith among people of different faiths. I, as Bishop of Lahore and Moderator/Primate of the Church of Pakistan whole-heartedly support and commend Allama’s efforts in this regard.’

He has recently received death threats for his interfaith work, see press cutting below:

Press Release from Gojra, August 2009

‘A delegation of leaders and intellectuals of different faiths led by Chairman Tehrik Akhuwat-e-Islami (TAI), Allama Inayat Ali Shakir visited Gojra on August 10, 2009 to express solidarity with the victim families. It was comprised on Maulana Ahmed Saeed Qureshi, Sahibzada Nisar-ul-Mustafa, Mufti Abdul Qavi (Multan), Father John William and others. The delegation visited central church (Samundri road), met with the victim families at Korian and inquired about the health of injured persons in Civil Hospital. Members of the visiting delegation also met with Bishop Joseph of Gojra Church who briefed about the incident in length. Later, Chairman TAI addressing a news conference at Administration Office said that involvement banned organizations could not be ignored in this incident. He said Islam is the religion of peace, which never allows suicide attacks and torching houses of someone. He said Muslim Christian unity has foiled the nefarious design of the miscreants. He termed it a move to defame Pakistan at international level. He said those involved in this incident has no connection with religion, adding no one has the right to take the law in his hands and torch houses of the people. He lauded the measures taken by the federal and provincial governments soon after this mayhem. He stressed the need to promote interfaith harmony to curb such kind of incidents. Chairman TAI asked the government to immediate arrest the accused involved in the incident and should award exemplary punishments.’

A Call to Prayer

Please pray for courageous and committed Muslims and Christians, of all traditions, who work for inter faith peace, harmony and reconciliation in the face of hatred, prejudice and ignorance. Also pray for those Christians and Muslims who suffer mistreatment, injury and death at each other’s hands. Please also support inter faith reconciliation initiatives in as many ways as possible.

A Range of Christian-Muslim Peace Initiatives

Nigeria: The Imam and the Pastor

Nottingham: Good Friday


Attacks on Christians in Pakistan

Statements: Religious Festivals and Celebrations, A Shared Commitment to God and Each Other, Ethical Witness Guidelines

Julian Bond