INTERFAITH NEWS FROM 2016

Relations between Christians and Muslims blossom in Tunisia. Read more

In a poor neighbourhood in Marseilles, Christians and Muslims live peacefully together and share a bond of mutual trust. Read more

Christians and Hindus are called to be a “light of peace” a senior cardinal has said. Read more

Deakin University in Melbourne has launched its inaugural Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue located within the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI). It is seen as a step towards developing foundations “where people of different traditions and beliefs get the opportunity to know one another and work together towards the ideal of living in peace.” Read more

In the wake of the US Presidential elections two of the nation's largest Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups have combined to launch a new national group: the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council to fight bigotry and to protect freedom of religion and constitutional rights for all American citizens. Read more

Over three hundred Muslim religious leaders, scholars and heads of state gathered in Morocco in January 2016 to affirm the rights of minorities living in Muslim-majority contexts. The Marrakesh Declaration (Booklet) builds on historical Islamic sources such as the Charter of Medina. Read the Executive Summary and a Special Report published by the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS) and the US Institute of Peace (USIP).

Delegations of Shia and Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church and Anglican / Episcopal leaders are gathering in November in the Iranian capital Tehran for the fourth Christian-Muslim Summit of Religious Leaders. Their theme is Respect for human dignity: the foundation for peace and security. Read more

Speaking to some 200 representatives of different religions gathered in the Vatican in November, Pope Francis urged them to foster a peaceful encounter of believers and genuine religious freedom. Read more

Mosques all around Australia welcomed thousands of people of all faiths and diverse background in order to build community understanding and harmony on National Mosque Open Day. Read more

Christian and Muslim pupils are getting on like a house on fire at a Jesuit school in in the northern Albanian city of Scutari. Read more

Kenyans paint churches and mosques yellow as a symbol of dialogue. Read more

A newly published book, “The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam,” by Professor Jerry Brotton reveals that Elizabethan England’s relationship with the Muslim world was far more amicable and extensive than is often appreciated as Queen Elizabeth I developed diplomatic, commercial and military ties with Muslim rulers in Iran, Turkey and Morocco in the sixteenth century. Read more  

Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, will travel to Egypt on 23 October to prepare for the official re-launching of dialogue between the Holy See and the Al-Azhar Mosque and University, marking a seismic step in Catholic-Muslim relations. Read more

Pope Francis has sent greetings to the Jewish community of Rome and throughout the world to mark three upcoming Jewish holidays. Read more

Sheikh Fehmi Naji-El-Emam, a senior and much loved Islamic cleric who had a major influence on the development of Islam in Australia, has passed away at the age of 88. Read more Read also Sheik Fehmi talked me out of going to war.

Kazakhstan is a land of peaceful co-existence between Catholics and Muslims. Read more.

Religious leaders have celebrated the 30th anniversary of St. John Paul II's Assisi interfaith peace gathering in 1986 and called on people from around the world to continue its legacy to combat today's indifference and violence. The event between 18-20 September was held in Assisi to reflect on the theme "Thirst for Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue."Click here for the Common Declaration. Read reports of the event, the address of Pope Francis, and the address of Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

The Bridge Initiative, a research project based in Georgetown University, Washington DC, has released a report that sheds light on American Catholics’ views of Islam. The 74 page report is titled “Danger & Dialogue: American Catholic Public Opinion and Portrayals of Islam”. Click here to read a Summary. Click here to read the Report.

The theme was ‘Ethics and Migration: Christian-Muslim relations in a persecuted region and the impact on immigration,’ for the sixth annual Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium held in Melbourne in August. Read more

An Iranian Muslim cleric has praised Pope Francis for his “wise and logical stance regarding Islam” and prayed for the success of the Pope “in spreading kindness, peace and spirituality in the world.” Read more.

At a brief, unscheduled meeting with the imam of Perugia, Abdel Qader Mohammed thanked Pope Francis for his recent statement that true Islam is not a religion of violence, but of peace. Read more

The New South Wales Council of Christians and Jews is among 24 Australian community groups who have banded together to urge the NSW government to act against extremists who promote violence based on race or religion. Read more

Muslims across France have attended masses in solidarity with the Christian community after the murder of 85-year-old priest Fr Jacques Hamel. Read more

The Gulen movement has denied any involvement in the recent coup in Turkey. A pro-Gulen group said it found the attempted coup "strange and interesting" but rejected any attack on democracy. Read the statement by Affinity. Read the statement by Fethullah Gulen.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is sending a top-level official to Cairo’s Al-Azhar University in an effort to resume formal dialogue after years of silence. Read more

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted a Ramadan Iftar on Thursday evening 16 June at Kirribilli House, Sydney - a first by an Australian PM. Read more

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has sent a message to Muslims for Ramadan affirming that both Christians and Muslims believe in a merciful God who shows mercy in caring for each of us. Read more

Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, Muhammad al-Tayyib, have met in a historic encounter at the Vatican. Read report A  and report B

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (P.C.I.D.), Vatican City, and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (R.I.I.F.S.), Amman, Jordan, held their fourth colloquium in Rome from Tuesday 3 to Wednesday 4 May 2016 on the theme "Shared values in social and political life: Christian and Muslim perspectives". Read the Final Declaration

Australian religious leaders have joined more than 250 religious leaders, 4970 individuals, and 176 religious groups from around the world in signing the Interfaith Climate Change Statement urging governments to ratify the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement at their meeting on 22 April 2016 in New York. Read more

King Abdullah II of Jordan, a Muslim sovereign and direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, in a highly symbolic act has agreed to fund the restoration of Christ’s tomb in Jerusalem. Read more

More than 100 religious traditions and organizations  – including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the National Council of Churches – have urged congressional support for President Barack Obama’s $750 million budget request toward the international Green Climate Fund (GCF). Read more

Father Jens Petzold has found a new way of dedicating himself to fostering positive interreligious relations through his work with refugees in Northern Iraq. Read more

It is imperative that Christians and Jews recognise “the tensions between the obligations of love of strangers … and concerns for security and fear of change”says a statement issued by the 23rd bi-annual meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee held in Poland in April 2016. Read more

Salah Farah, a Muslim teacher who died shielding Christians during a bus attack in Kenya, has been posthumously honoured for his act of courage. Read more

The  peak body representing Muslims in Australia has condemned the  Brussels terror attack and stands in solidarity with the people of Belgium. Read the statement

In Ismailia, Egypt, Muslims vote for  the construction of a Christian church. Read more

A Togolese priest who saved 1,500 Muslims from slaughter in the Central African Republic has been shortlisted for a new $1 million peace prize. Read more

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced the launch of a new national Catholic-Muslim dialogue group to combat the climate of fear surrounding Islam. It will encourage "crucial conversations" between Catholics and Muslims in the US. Read more

A meeting between Pope Francis and the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has recalled the conclusion and implementation of the Iran Nuclear Agreement and highlighted the important role Iran is called to play along with other countries in the Region. Read more

More than 250 Muslim religious leaders, heads of state, and scholars, meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco,  have released a 750 word document calling for religious freedom for non-Muslims in majority-Muslim countries. Read more

The Pontifical Lateran University opens its doors to its first ever visiting professor, the director of the Institute of Shiite Studies in Qom. The result of an agreement that was signed in the sacred Persian city. Read more

A respected Hungarian religious leader has challenged those who claim Europe must refuse entry to Muslim refugees in order to defend its Christian character, stating that this stance is more about defending affluence, comfort and security than about defending Christianity. Read more