Young Christians and Muslims Must Work Together

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Yearning and working for freedom and peace, young Christians and Muslims must be patient and persistent, recognizing that violence or other apparent “short cuts” that harm others will never lead to justice and lasting peace, said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.

“In the tormented world of ours, educating the young for peace becomes increasingly urgent,” said the cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The Vatican Aug. 3 released the cardinal’s annual greeting to Muslims for Eid al-Fitr, the feast marking the end of the monthlong Ramadan fast. The feast begins on or around Aug. 19 this year.

As the Arab Spring movement, supported by young Muslims and Christians, continues across North Africa and parts of the Middle East, Cardinal Tauran focused his message on the theme “Educating young Christians and Muslims for justice and peace.”

Parents, teachers and religious leaders have a share in the “beautiful and difficult task” of helping young people to discover and develop the talents God has given them, to learn and to build relationships that reflect justice, peace and the fact that all people are created by God, he said.

“For believers, genuine justice, lived in friendship with God, deepens all other relationships: with oneself, with others and with the whole of creation,” Cardinal Tauran said.

A believer’s vision of peace also has a religious foundation because it is seen as a gift of God, but one which human beings must pursue without ceasing through the promotion of justice and charity, he said.

Cardinal Tauran encouraged young Muslims and Christians “to cultivate truth and freedom, in order to be genuine heralds of justice and peace and builders of a culture which respects the dignity and the rights of every citizen.”

He urged them to be patient and persistent, “never resorting to doubtful compromises, deceptive short cuts or to means which show little respect for the human person.”

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