Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sign Historic Abu Dhabi Declaration for World Peace and Living Together

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Dr. Ahmed At-Tayyeb have signed the historic Abu Dhabi Declaration – a document on Human Fraternity in the United Arab Emirates.

The “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” seeks to encourage stronger relationships between people to promote coexistence among peoples and to confront extremism and its negative impacts.

The signing ceremony was in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and attended by more than 400 religious leaders.

During the ceremony His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also presented the first “Human Fraternity Award – From Dar Zayed” that was jointly given to Pope Francis and the Grand Imam.

The award was given to Dr. Ahmed at-Tayyeb in recognition of his firm position in defence of moderation, tolerance, global values and his vehement rejection of radical extremism.

Pope Francis meanwhile is well known as an advocate for tolerance and the laying aside of differences and for his determined call for the pursuit of peace and fraternity among humanity, and the award recognises this continued commitment and approach.

In a speech before signing the Abu Dhabi Declaration, Pope Francis said “hatred and violence” in the name of God cannot be justified, praising the value of education in reducing conflict.

Meanwhile Dr. Ahmed At-Tayyeb, who is one of the world’s foremost Muslim leaders, called on Muslims to protect Christian communities in the Middle East and for Muslims in the West to integrate into their communities.

“You are part of this nation… You are not minorities,” he said during his speech at the ceremony.

The ceremony was part of the broader Human Fraternity Meeting that has witnessed the first ever Papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula and hosted by the UAE Government.

*Source: AETOSWire



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HIGHLIGHTS from IndiaToday.com

  • Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb called on the Muslims in the Middle East to “embrace” local Christian communities
  • Pope Francis also called for full religious freedom in the majority Muslim region
  • Pope Francis’ 40-hour visit to Abu Dhabi culminates on Tuesday with the first-ever papal Mass on the Arabian Peninsula

Pope Francis and the grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Alzhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb on Monday met in Abu Dhabi, embraced each other and called for peace. The two religious leaders signed a statement with their hopes for world peace and human understanding.

The document was signed in the name of “all victims of wars, persecution and injustice; and those tortured in any part of the world, without distinction”.

It said: “We resolutely declare that religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism, nor must they incite violence or the shedding of blood.”

The grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar mosque and university, called on the Muslims in West Asia to “embrace” local Christian communities while telling the Christians that they are “citizens of this nation with full rights and responsibilities”.

“Continue to embrace your brothers the Christian citizens everywhere, for they are our partners in our nation,” said the grand imam, who is the highest seat of learning in Sunni Islam.

Pope Francis also called for full religious freedom in the Muslim- majority region, where restrictions are placed on non-Muslim expressions of faith. To promote “concrete paths of peace” people of different religions will have to come together, he said.

The pontiff also flagged the dangers of “fake news” after the boycott of Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The crisis had begun after Qatar’s state-run news agency was hacked and fake items were published.

Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb had also hosted Pope Francis in 2017 to improve relations between Catholics and Muslims.

Pope Francis’ 40-hour visit to Abu Dhabi culminates on Tuesday with the first-ever papal mass on the Arabian peninsula — a gathering in which 135,000 people are expected to participate in a never-before-seen display of public Christian worship in the region.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed Pope Francis on Sunday in a grand ceremony.

Published at Mon, 04 Feb 2019 23:39:05 +0000