Vatican-Iran Dialogue

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians and Muslims must cooperate in responding to modern challenges and in promoting moral values, said a statement by members of a Catholic-Muslim dialogue sponsored by the Vatican and Iran.

At the end of a meeting in Tehran, the participants said it is necessary “to cooperate in answering modern challenges, promoting moral values, justice and peace and protecting the family, environment and natural resources.”

Members of the dialogue sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Iran’s government-related Center for Interreligious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization also called for respect for religious freedom.

The focus of the meeting, “Religion and Society Today: Christian and Muslim Perspectives,” aimed at highlighting the similarities and respecting the differences of both religions while continuing a genuine dialogue, said a statement issued Nov. 16 at the Vatican. The statement was drawn up by Vatican and Iranian participants at the end of their meeting Nov. 9-11.

Participants said religious believers, like all citizens, have a role to play in society, particularly in promoting the common good.

They also called for an approach to educating the young that promotes “the search for truth, spiritual values and promotion of knowledge.”

The meeting was led by Mohammad Baqer Khorramshad, president of the Iranian Islamic center, and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The Vatican and the Iranian Muslim scholars have been engaged in dialogue since 1994; the next meeting will be in Rome in 2012.

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