23 October 2017 – The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue – a think tank holding special consultative status with UN ECOSOC – has issued a new publication on the Great Convergence between Islam and Christianity. “Islam and Christianity, the Great Convergence: Working Jointly Towards Equal Citizenship Rights” is the outcome of the Centre’s panel discussion held on 15 March 2017 at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The debate was held in the wake of the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of the Algeria, Lebanon and Pakistan as well as the Permanent Observer Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

The publication reviews the interventions made by the keynote speakers – from the Arab region and the West alike - during the deliberation session which included interventions from the Minister of State for Tolerance of UAE (H. E. Sheikha Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi); the Permanent Observer of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta (H. E. Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann); the Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (H. E. Ambassador Tehmina Janjua); the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit); the Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) and former Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon (Dr. Tarek Mitri); the President of Bridges to Common Ground and former U.S. Congressman as well as U.S./U.N. Ambassador (Honourable Mark D. Siljander); the Dominican friar of the English Province (Reverend Timothy Radcliffe); and Professor of Islamic History at the University of St. Andrews (Professor Carole Hillenbrand).

The second part of the publication includes an intellectual think piece prepared by the Geneva Centre which addresses the lessons learned from the panel meeting and the steps required to enable Muslims and Christians to overcome inter alia religious intolerance affecting all alike by recognising the potential for a “Great Convergence” between Islam and Christianity.

The think piece also offers a novel insight on the Centre’s forthcoming World Conference entitled “Religions, Creeds and/or Other Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rightswhich will build on the ideas and recommendations provided by the keynote speakers during the deliberation session on harnessing the collective energy of Islam and Christianity – and other religions, beliefs and value systems - in the pursuit of equal citizenship rights.

The Centre aims at holding the World Conference at the United Nations Office in Geneva during the course of 2018. In order to advance the agenda of the World Conference, the Geneva Centre has establish a Sponsoring Committee which includes so far the UAE Minister of State for Tolerance (H. E. Sheikha Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi); the Chairman of the Geneva Centre (H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim); the former Foreign Minister of Algeria and a member of the Elders (H. E. Lakhdar Brahimi); the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (Reverend Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit); the Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission (Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo); and the President of Bridges to Common Ground and former U.S. Congressman as well as U.S./U.N. Ambassador (Honourable Mark D. Siljander). Consultations are ongoing concerning the extension of the membership of the Sponsoring Committee.

The Committee will be serviced by the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director Ambassador Idriss Jazairy.

Paper copies of the Geneva Centre’s publication on the Great Convergence between Islam and Christianity can be obtained by sending an email request to the following email address info@gchragd.org indicating name and postal address of recipient.

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