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The Abu Dhabi Declaration suggests an equalization of religions, a problem that has plagued interreligious dialogue since the beginning.
By Eric Sammons, Crisis Magazine, March 1, 2023
Eric Sammons is the editor-in-chief of Crisis Magazine.
Today the “Abrahamic Family House” in Abu Dhabi, UAE opens for visitors. This multi-religious site hosts a mosque, synagogue, and a church, and was created as a result of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, co-authored by Pope Francis and prominent Sunni Islamic leader Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. As the Abrahamic Family House opens, it is instructive to look back at a few of the fundamental problems with its founding document. Below is an excerpt adapted from my book, Deadly Indifference: How the Church Lost Her Mission and How We Can Reclaim It.
A virtual model of the future Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, interreligious dialogue between Catholics and Muslims has explored ways to prevent religiously-inspired violence. Many local and national interreligious groups have released joint statements condemning violence and promoting dialogue as a means to peace. In February 2019 the pope himself also released such a statement, co-authored by Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.
Titled A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, the text urged “all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that [this document] 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.” Signed in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, this statement is often called the “Abu Dhabi Declaration.” …