[ACNS] Delegations of Shia and Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church and Anglican / Episcopal leaders are gathering in the Iranian capital Tehran for the fourth Christian-Muslim Summit of Religious Leaders. The interfaith dialogue brings together international leaders to reflect and share ideas around the theme of Respect for human dignity: the foundation for peace and security. “Given the rise of violence throughout the world by those who claim to be acting in the name of religion, this theme is particularly important,” a member of the Anglican delegation said.
The summits began in 2007 when former Iranian President Muhammad Khatami spoke at Washington National Cathedral in the US. He called for a gathering of religious and cultural leaders from eastern and western perspectives. The first summit took place at Washington National Cathedral in 2010 and subsequent summits were held in Beirut in 2012 and in Rome in 2014.
At this final summit, delegates will create a call to action around the theme of respect for human dignity and will also consider how the rich dialogue that has been the centrepiece of these summits can be continued.
The Anglican / Episcopal delegation is led by the former Bishop of Washington, John Chane, who now serves as the senior advisor for interreligious dialogue for Washington National Cathedral. Other members of the delegation include the Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the secretary general of the Anglican Communion; Archbishop Paul Kwong, the Primate of Hong Kong and chair of the Anglican Consultative Council; the Revd Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Centre of New York; and Ms Ruth Frey, the senior program officer for Justice and Reconciliation at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York.
The Revd Canon John Peterson, director of the Centre for Global Justice and Reconciliation at Washington National Cathedral, serves as co-coordinator for the Christian-Muslim Summits.
This week’s summit, which began yesterday (Sunday) will conclude on Wednesday (9 November). Afterwards, delegates will visit the pilgrimage cities of Qom and Isfahan.