Muslim-Christian Dialogue

Muslim-Christian Dialogue

During the Fifth Crusade, in 1219, Francis of Assisi crossed the siege line established by the Crusaders to engage in dialogue with the Muslim Sultan Melek-el-Kamil near Damietta, Egypt.  Francis came away from the encounter with the Sultan a changed person: his instructions to the brothers now included an option that they live peaceably among the Muslims, witnessing by their lives to the truth of the Gospel.

In 2007, Franciscans Network took up this very challenge and joined with the Council on American Islamic Relations and other Cincinnati-area Muslims to embark on a path of greater understanding.  Each year we have organized together in churches, mosques, and schools across the region, bringing Christians, Muslims, Jews, and people of goodwill into direct contact and exchange with one another.  The results of these dialogue series has been enlightenment about what God is doing among us, as reflected in these comments from participants about what they appreciated:

“Simply getting to know people better.  Sharing faith practices in small groups brought it to a real level.  I felt that I was dealing with real people, not just a Muslim or a Christian.”

 

“The openness of people to listen with an open mind and answer with an open heart.  I am so thankful for the Muslims for answering my questions and for showing such sincere interest in my faith tradition.”
“The direct contact and opportunity to talk with Muslims.”
“I enjoyed every aspect truly.  I loved the wonderful conversations I had at the round tables at the end of the sessions.  The tone overall was friendly, respectful, and warm.”
“The small group discussions: very good, warm conversations.”
“Hearing from the Muslim speakers.  Each session I learned more about the religion and I have learned to respect it.  I also learned how much we are alike.”

We welcome your participation in this important work.  For information on the next scheduled dialogue series, or to inquire about hosting the series at your place of worship, contact us.