Moving from “competition and confrontation to an effective cooperation for the common good”. This is the main point of this year’s message of good wishes that the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sent to Muslims for a “fruitful fast” during Ramadan and a joyful ‘Id Al-Fitr which falls on 14 June. The message is signed by the President of the Vatican Dicastery, Card. Jean-Louis Tauran, and by its secretary, Mgr. Ángel Ayuso Guixot. This year, it is entitled “Christians and Muslims: From Competition to Collaboration”.
“A spirit of competition – Card. Tauran and Mgr. Ayuso wrote – has too often marked past relations between Christians and Muslims, the negative consequences of which are evident: jealousy, recriminations and tensions. In some cases, these have led to violent confrontations, especially where religion has been instrumentalized, above all due to self-interest and political motives”. In a globalized world characterized by growing tensions, “such interreligious competition wounds the image of religions and their followers, and it fosters the view that religions are not sources of peace, but of tension and violence”.
There is therefore a need to “prevent and overcome these negative consequences”. For this reason – the leaders of the Vatican Dicastery wrote – “it is important that we Christians and Muslims recall the religious and moral values that we share, while acknowledging our differences. By recognizing what we hold in common and by showing respect for our legitimate differences, we can more firmly establish a solid foundation for peaceful relations, moving from competition and confrontation to an effective cooperation for the common good. This particularly assist those most in need, and allows us to offer a credible witness to the Almighty’s love for the whole of humanity”. The message also highlights “the right and the duty” of all believers “to witness to the All-Powerful One” they worship, and to “share our beliefs with others, while respecting their religion and religious sentiments”. And they concluded: “So that we may further peaceful and fraternal relations, let us work together and honor each other. In this way we will give glory to the Almighty and promote harmony in society, which is becoming increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural”.