WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Declaration of Human Fraternity and Peace

WelCom April 2019:

Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad el-Tayeb signed a declaration on human fraternity in February this year. Photo: Vatican Media

In February this year Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad el-Tayeb met together in the United Arab Emirates for an international interfaith meeting. During the two-day visit Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Al-Hazar, signed a declaration on human fraternity in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

In the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together the two religious leaders have asked all people ‘to rediscover and spread the values of peace, justice, goodness, beauty, human fraternity and coexistence.’ They go on to say they believe ‘that among the most important causes of the crises of the modern world are a desensitised human conscience, a distancing from religious values and a prevailing individualism accompanied by materialistic philosophies.’ The two leaders issue a strong condemnation of terrorism and violence: ‘God does not want his name to be used to terrorise people’.

The historic document is not only a milestone in relations between Christianity and Islam but also represents a message with a strong impact on the international scene. In the preface, after affirming that ‘Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved’, this text is spoken of as a text ‘that has been given honest and serious thought’, which invites ‘all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together’.

(See Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.)