Muslim and Vatican officials are holding historic talks in Rome to establish a better inter-faith dialogue. The Vatican says they want to open a "new chapter" in relations with Islam. Muslim and Vatican officials are holding historic talks in Rome to establish a better inter-faith dialogue.
The three-day talks in Rome are being attended by nearly 60 religious leaders and scholars from each side.
The Muslim delegation is being led by Grand Mufti of Bosnia Mustafa Ceric, while Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran heads the Vatican officials.
The meeting opens "a new chapter in the long history" of the dialogue between the two faiths, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran told France"s La Croix newspaper on the eve of the talks. The first two days will be taken up by discussions on God"s love and loving one"s neighbor, with the Pope due to meet the delegates on Thursday.
The pont is seeking to avoid future misunderstanding between the two religions. The Vatican is also keen to exchange opinions with Muslims about reciprocity in allowing places of worship to be built.
There are about two billion Christians (Catholics and Protestants) in the world, just over half of them Catholics. Muslims, who now number about 1.3 billion, recently overtook the number of Catholics worldwide for the first time.
This summit is very significant as a means of strengthening close friendship between Christians and Muslims. It carries an important message for both sides to unite to fight against irreligiousness and cruelty and to spread peace, cooperation and good morals. We should not forget that we all believe in same God. Allah states in the Qur’an that people should submit to Him, without making any difference among His prophets and believing in all of them as follows:
Say: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we submit to Allah (in Islám)." (Surat al Baqara, 136)