Cardinal Urges Objective Teaching of Religion in Message to Muslims for Ramadan


"Violence among followers of different religions, is, unfortunately, a pressing subject, at least in certain areas of the world", says Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, President of the Vatican's Council for Inter-religious dialogue. This is why - he adds in his message marking the Islamic feast of Id al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan - Christians and Muslims must work together to overcome it.

The theme for this years message was also the topic of discussions at the last meeting of the Pontifical Council and al-Azhar Permanent Committee for Dialogue among the Monotheistic Religions.

In his message published Friday, Cardinal Tauran shares the meeting's conclusions. He notes the many causes for violence including: "the manipulation of the religion for political or other ends; discrimination based on ethnicity or religious identity; divisions and social tensions", as well as "ignorance, poverty and underdevelopment".

The Cardinal invites civil and religious authorities to "offer their contributions" for a solution "for the sake of the common good of all society" and calls on civil authorities to "safeguard the primacy of the law by ensuring true justice to put a stop to the authors and promoters of violence".

Cardinal Tauran also urges Christians and Muslims "to recognize what we have in common and to respect differences, as a basis for a culture of dialogue"; he recalls "the importance of education towards respect" at home, in the school, in churches and mosques.

"Teaching by religious leaders, as well as school books which present religions in an objective way, have, along with teaching in general, a decisive impact on the education and the formation of younger generations".

Only in this way, he concludes "we will be able to oppose violence among followers of different religions and promote peace and harmony among the various religious communities".