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Poland: Catholic-Muslim dialogue, “there is no room for violence in the two religions”. “Every church, mosque or synagogue is a special place”

“Any person who is open to the good knows that a church, a mosque or a synagogue is a special place”, stressed Mgr. Henryk Ciereszko, President of the Committee for Dialogue with Non-Christian Religions of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, ahead of Islam Day. Expressing concern over the lack of respect for worship places worldwide, the prelate cited the message of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. At a joint celebration to be held for the 21st time on 26 January 2021 at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Catholic and Muslim representatives will gather in prayer at the beginning and at the end of the online meeting. They will read the Bible and the Koran and discuss some passages of their respective texts. “In the two religions, there is no room for violence and for the destruction of the expression of God’s worship or of the places where the encounter with Him takes place”, Mgr. Ciereszko noted. This year’s title for the Day, inspired by the message of the Pontifical Council for the end of Ramadan, is dedicated precisely to the protection of worship places. Poland is home to more than 30,000 Muslims belonging to two different communities. One is made up mainly by people of Tatar origin, while the other, consisting of about 25,000 Muslims, arrived in Poland for work or study purposes.

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