Pope Francis and Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of Egypt's al-Azhar mosque and university, who is a leading religious authority for many Sunni Muslims around the world, both signed A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together on 4th February in Abu Dhabi. The joint document is the fruit of many meetings between Pope Francis and Sheik el-Tayeb. Together they covered a wide range of issues and topics affecting the contemporary world, which they deal with in the document.
Although the document is mainly about Christian-Muslim relations, its message and relevance is for everyone. It is, in fact, ‘an invitation to reconciliation and fraternity among all believers . . . and non-believers, and among all people of good will’.
The introduction states that the document‘invites all persons, who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity, to unite and work together, so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters’.
The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue described the document as a ‘precious road map of interreligious dialogue for the future’. We can all use it to develop a culture of dialogue, joint collaboration and mutual knowledge and play our part in creating ‘a universal peace that all can enjoy in this life’.
Both signatories request that: ‘This Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation, thus helping to educate new generations to bring goodness and peace to others, and to be defenders everywhere of the rights of the oppressed and of the least of our brothers and sisters.’
The document is available to read and download here.