So-called Christianity in America and Europe is secular Christianity: Navvab

A member of the Supreme Council of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly stated, “Christians, especially priests and monks, have been praised in the Holy Quran. Because they are not arrogant. For these reasons, everything is ready for cooperation and synergy, and if there is a shortcoming, it is on our side. The main advantage of the Orthodox Christians is that they believe in their religion, and they are not secular, which is an outstanding advantage.”

ABWA Official Website – Orthodox priest Grigory Matrossov, an expert on Shiite studies, and head of communications of the Russian Orthodox Church, met with Hojat al-Islam Sayed Abolhasan Navvab, president of the University of Religions and Denominations.

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In this meeting, while welcoming and expressing his happiness at the presence of Pastor Gregory Matrossov at the University of Religions and Denominations, Hojat al-Islam Sayed Abolhasan Navvab said, “I have experienced being at the holy Mount Athos in Greece and stayed there for three days. I have also visited the monastery of the Orthodox Church. This journey was very pleasant for us. The monks there treated us very well, and I plan to travel there again. On Mount Athos, we realize that religion has not yet been forgotten. The young and the old all worship on this mountain. Our hosts on Mount Athos had PhDs in international relations from the most prestigious university in the world, and there they worshiped from 10 pm to morning. Congratulations to the Orthodox for having such a place. That place can be a model for us too.”

“Regarding Russian Orthodox Christians, I must say that I have had the opportunity to visit your church dozens of times. I have also visited the Orthodox Education Center and the Church of the Savior. I have also met with the leaders of the Orthodox churches of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. The Orthodox are very close to the Muslims and are considered their neighbors. The Orthodox are close to us both in appearance and in beliefs,” continued Hujjat al-Islam Navvab.

Regarding monotheism, he continued, “It should be said that regarding monotheism, the Orthodox have something in common with us Muslims. You accept the Trinity, but you give special prominence to the One God. The Son and the Holy Spirit have bodies, but the Father is one God and has no body. The One God is omnipotent in the universe, and therefore, He can give anyone whatever He wants. He can also give whatever he wants to the Son and the Holy Spirit. If the issue of God’s oneness is accepted, we can say that according to the Quranic verse “إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ” (Indeed, with Allah religion is Islam) (Holy Quran, Surah: Al Imran, Verse: 19) our religion and yours are one. Islam means submission to God. Prophet Abraham (a.s.), the father of the prophets said, “إِنِّي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ” ("For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.") (Holy Quran, Surah: Al-An'am, Verse: 79). With this interpretation, all divine religions are Islam. What is different is Sharia law. The rules are different. The Quran also says that the Sharias (laws) are different, but religion is common. Belief in the Gospel is part of our faith. The fourth verse of Surah Al-Baqarah reads, “وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ” (and who believe in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you, and are certain of the Hereafter.) (Holy Quran, Surah: Al-Baqarah, Verse: 4). Therefore, the belief in what Allah revealed, is our faith.”

“Christians, especially priests and monks, have been praised in the Holy Quran. Because they are not arrogant. For these reasons, everything is ready for cooperation and synergy, and if there is a shortcoming, it is on our side. The main advantage of the Orthodox Christians is that they believe in their religion, and they are not secular, which is an outstanding advantage. So-called Christianity in America and Europe is secular Christianity. My last meeting was with the Greek Orthodox leader. By the grace of God, we hope to work together to make better efforts,” said a member of the Supreme Council of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly at the end of his speech.

Further in the meeting, considering communication with the leaders of the world’s religions as very important, especially with the leaders of Islam and Iran, priest Grigory Matrossov, an expert on Shiite studies, stated, “For the Russian Orthodox Church, communication with Iranian religious leaders is very important.”

“By the order of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, a special commission has been formed to establish effective communication between Iran and Russia. To achieve this goal, we have held about 15 meetings, the last of which was in February this year, and the next will be held in Tehran next year,” he continued.

“Thank God that the way for this cooperation has been paved, and it has been working for about twenty years. But we feel that these collaborations are not enough and can be more. My purpose of traveling to Iran, and especially visiting the University of Religions and Denominations, is to establish more interfaith connections. As you said, like Muslims, we believe in one God, and our only differences are in Sharia law. But this difference should not hinder our friendship,” said the head of communications of the Russian Orthodox Church at the end.

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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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