Final Statement of the Ninth Colloquium of Interreligious Dialogue between the Center for Interreligious Dialogue of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Vatican)

25-26 November, 2014

The Center for Interreligious Dialogue of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue organized their Ninth Colloquium of dialogue on November 25-26, 2014 in Teheran, under the joint chairmanship of His Excellency Dr. Abuzar Ibrahimi Turkaman, President of the Islamc Culture and Relations Organization, and His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Vatican).

In the inaugural session, in addition to the opening remarks by Dr. Ibrahimi Turkaman and Cardinal Tauran, talks were given by Ayatollah Imami Kashani, Member of the Leadership Experts Assembly, Hojjatoleslam Ali Younesi, President’s Special Adviser for Ethnic and Religious Minorities Affairs, and other scholars.

The participants focused on the theme: “Christians and Muslims in Constructive Dialogue for the Good of Society” from the viewpoints of Shia Islam and Catholicism. Papers were presented on the following subthemes:

1. Spirituality: its nature, role and methods of its promotion

2. Media: its role in the promotion of the culture of dialogue

3. Religious Values: a response to extremism and violence.

At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on the following:

1. Two decades of dialogue between the abovementioned institutions have provided the occasion for better knowledge and mutual understanding.

2. The participants emphasized that Christian-Muslim constructive dialogue plays a crucial role in making a better society.

3. Spirituality is a both a divine gift and the fruit of a human journey leading to truth.

4. A genuine spirituality enables us to recognize God’s presence and action within ourselves and in the world.

5. The media is called to play its distinctive role in the promotion of positive relations between Christians and Muslims.

6. The participants condemned all kinds of extremism and violence, especially committed in the name of religion.

The participants decided to hold the next colloquium in Rome in 2016, which will be preceded by a preparatory meeting 2015.