Lutherans appeal for partnership with Muslims

28th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 November 2006, Berlin (dpa) - Germany's main Lutheran churches appealed Tuesday to Muslims in the country to meet them in a dialogue on peace that would set a worldwide standard for inter-religious conciliation. The declaration was issued in Berlin by the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), which represents most of the regional independent Lutheran and Reformed churches. Germany's 26 million Lutherans are equal in number to the country's Catholics. The statement was issued the same day a

28 November 2006

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's main Lutheran churches appealed Tuesday to Muslims in the country to meet them in a dialogue on peace that would set a worldwide standard for inter-religious conciliation.

The declaration was issued in Berlin by the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), which represents most of the regional independent Lutheran and Reformed churches. Germany's 26 million Lutherans are equal in number to the country's Catholics.

The statement was issued the same day as Pope Benedict XVI began an historic visit to mainly Muslim Turkey. Germany's government this year opened its first talks with the country's Muslim minority, a group estimated to total more than 3 million.

The EKD said Christians and Muslims in Germany could become forerunners for a worldwide dialogue between the religions.

"The democratic and pluralist society of Germany provides the ideal conditions," it said. "Starting out from here, Christianity and Islam can use their potential to spread peace and conciliation in a globalized world."

The statement, headed "Clarity and Good Neighbourliness," added that it was a precondition for dialogue that Muslims accepted secular rule instead of rule by sharia, or Islamic law, since "there cannot be two systems of law."

It added that Muslims in Western society had to accept "critical questions about their traditions and culture as well as about certain interpretations of Muslim belief." Tolerance of such questions was needed to promote "constructive co-existence."

The EKD admitted that Lutherans had needed a long period of history to learn to accept critical discussion of their own traditions.

DPA

Subject: German news

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