Respect at the heart of interfaith dialogue...
Daniel Fleming (1st Year Ordinand at CITI) continues to gain valuable experience during his placement in Egypt by shadowing our Partners, as they build bridges between Christians and Muslims, and facilitate ongoing dialogue.
As part of this process of Christian-Muslim dialogue, last Wednesday afforded the opportunity for a delegation from All Saint's Cathedral being invited to Al-Azhar mosque and university. At the end of the meeting, Daniel and others attended an Iftar meal (breaking the fast) and visited the square of Al-Azhar Mosque to learn about its history, and take photos with the Grand Imam. Daniel even got to meet Ireland's ambassador to Egypt!
On the Wednesday evening, Archbishop Samy Fawzy , Bishop Mouneer and the centre director, Dr. Nazir Ayad officially opened the Islamic - Christian Center for Understanding and Partnership in Cairo.
What wonderful experiences Daniel gets to be a part of, and it would appear that God's timing for his placement in Egypt is perfect! It's also fantastic to know that Christians and Muslims can work together for justice and peace in our world full of uncertainty, and our partners in Egypt are a brilliant example to us all.
As Muslims all over the world end their month of fasting today or tomorrow, we too have the opportunity here in Ireland to develop relationships and pray for friends and colleagues to know Him who is life eternal.
The prophet Isaiah had this to say about true fasting (Isaiah 58: 6 - 9):
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.