Respect for the rights of followers of all religions leads to unity among members of society: Ayatollah Ramazani

The Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly met with the Head of Ecclesiastical Relations of the World Council of Churches and the Head of the Faculty of the World Council of Churches and some of its professors in Geneva.

Respect for the rights of followers of all religions leads to unity among members of society: Ayatollah Ramazani

The Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly met with the Head of Ecclesiastical Relations of the World Council of Churches and the Head of the Faculty of the World Council of Churches and some of its professors in Geneva.

During the meeting, which was held on Thursday, November 11, 2021, in the presence of some of the professors of the council in Geneva, the second most populous city in Switzerland, the two sides stressed the need for approximate interfaith activities.

Respecting the rights of followers of divine religions leads to unity among members of society

In this meeting, while expressing satisfaction with the holding of such meetings, the Secretary-General of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly stated, “For me, the connection with this institution is very important. In Iran, we hold these connections under the name of Proximity of Religions.”

Explaining the meaning of Proximity of Religions and Denominations, Ayatollah Ramazani said, “Approximation means raising the level of familiarity, awareness, deepening and understanding between followers of religions and denominations, and strengthening mutual respect and the disciplines of brotherhood, without any distinction in terms of their sectarian, ethnic or national affiliation in order to achieve unity.”

“Respecting the rights of the followers of the divine religions leads to unity among the members of the society,” he said, regarding the fruit of respecting the rights of the followers of religions.

Unity between religions and denominations is a constructive factor in securing social rights

In this meeting, Hojat al-Islam Dr. Saeed Jazari, the president of AhlulBayt (a.s.) International University, also said, “We believe that a large part of the distinction between religions is due to cultural foundations in different geographies, and another part due to political thinking. If these two issues are carefully considered, interfaith interaction will take place.”

“Unity between followers of religions and denominations is a constructive factor in ensuring social rights,” he added, “Religions have come from God for man to reach felicity, and to come out of darkness and into light, and to serve God.”

“All religions emphasize the principle of dialogue, love and peaceful coexistence, and this has been the mission of the prophets,” Jazari said, emphasizing the need for dialogue between religions and sects with respect to each other’s characteristics and views.

A report on the activities of the World Council of Churches

In the meeting, describing the activities of this college, Dr. Simon Sean, the dean of the World Council of Churches, said, “In terms of the academic system, this is part of the University of Geneva. The school was established after World War II with the aim of educating European and non-European youth to foster peace and tranquility.”

“We first developed the relationship between the churches, and then the relationship between the community and the church, and in 2006 we started a program of interaction and dialogue between the Abrahamic religions. In this regard, every summer we hold courses that are three weeks online and three weeks in person. Numerous researchers and students attend these courses. This school, although not large, is important. Our job is to train church leaders. For example, 33 students were recently admitted to be trained as religious leaders in churches,” he added.

“We form an important network of people who are in important and sensitive global situations,” emphasized the Dean of the World Council of Churches School.

Three main areas of activity

Dr. Benjamin Simon, President of Ecclesiastical Communications of the World Council of Churches, also stated, “In 1946, the University and in 1948 the Supreme Council of the Church were established to link the two complexes.”

“In 1946 and 1948, we considered for our programs the three main axes of “Peace”, “Interaction between different Christian sects” and “Creating unity and solidarity between different sects”. We tried to create unity among the 349 churches, and by churches we mean, the Christian churches, the Armenian churches and the Russian Orthodox churches, and so on in the world,” he continued.

There are many Christian denominations / The differences between the denominations are not theological

“When it is said that there are 349 churches, it means that there are 349 denominations in Christianity. When it comes to Christianity, it is very difficult for students to understand. Because there are so many denominations in Christianity. The professors and students present at the meeting are from different Christian denominations. Catholics make up half of the Christian population. Of course, Catholics are not members of this organization, but we interact with each other,” Benjamin Simon stated.

“The differences between the denominations are not due to theological differences,” he stated, “These differences are only related to cultural differences, and we mistakenly assume that they are theological.”

“One of the most important differences is that the worshipping way is not the same for Christians. Students come here to see these differences to integrate their ideas,” said the head of church relations of the World Council of Churches, explaining the differences between Christianity.

“One of the issues that has come up for us today and that we are now talking about more easily than ever before is the issue of different readings of the Bible. Bringing these readings closer together and finding commonalities is an important issue,” Dr. Simon Sean concluded.

It should be mentioned that concluding a memorandum of cooperation in holding joint conferences and courses, as well as exchanging professors and students were among the other topics that were addressed in this meeting.

Ahl Al-Bayt World Assembly

The Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly  is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) that was established by a group of Shiite elites under the supervision of the great Islamic authority of the Shiites in 1990 to identify, organize, educate and support the followers of Ahl al-Bayt.

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