The WJC has well established relations with the Catholic Church, and has played a leading role, both directly and within the framework of ICJIC, in an ongoing dialogue over many decades. This has produced positive results in many cases. The recently adapted Latin text of the Good Friday prayer is a contentious issue. Ongoing discussions to resolve the issue should not impede this important liaison.
Progress, however, is slow with regard to the Orthodox and Protestant Churches. The decentralised nature of these churches and certain political issues related to the Middle East conflict are obstacles to advancement.
Dialogue with the other Christian churches is an important mechanism for increasing understanding between the faiths and for increasing mutual theological knowledge.
Dialogue must be based on mutual respect for the values of each faith.
Dialogue is the best method of resolving issues of contention, and for improving cooperation on issues of common concern like the subjects of nationalism and religious identity, preventing intolerance, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
Dialogue with representatives of moderate Islam is one of the most important and challenging issues at this time. The increasing gap of understanding between so-called 'Western liberal democracies' and the Islamic word is a recipe for potential civil strife and possible violence.
Discussion and debate between brethren who share a common root will lead to the realisation that shared ideals, aspirations and values far outweigh any differences that may exist.
Extremists represent only a small part of Islam. The vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people who do not support or wish to engage in terrorist activities.
Whilst combating the threats posed by 'Radical Islam' it is important to embrace the proponents of 'Moderate Islam' and to engage with them in open and constructive dialogue.
Dialogue should not only be limited to a theological debate, but also to exchanges of views on sociological, cultural, diplomatic and political issues.
In July 2008, the Muslim World League held an interfaith meeting to which representatives of many religions were invited. 'The International Conference for Dialogue' was an initiative of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and was a significant step forward in opening the possibility of a dialogue between Abrahamic faiths and with other major religions. The WJC was amongst the Jewish organizations that were represented at the meeting.
All religions, and especially the three Abrahamic faiths, can work together to respond to the challenges posed by developments in modern society, especially to discuss and promote shared values.
Cooperation between faith-based organizations in local communities can respond to the challenges posed by a changing world (environmental, globalisation, violence, terrorism, decline of values etc.) and can show that religions have viable answers to these challenges in the contemporary world.
There is almost no contact between Jewish leaders and other faiths, on an international level.
Dialogue with all representatives of all faiths is important in building bridges of understanding and establishing respect.
"I will not be silent and we will not be silent," Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told Christians recently about Jewish support for persecuted Christians.
“Aggression cannot be an act of faith,” Pope Francis said at a meeting with religious leaders from Latin America.
Radical members of the ultra-conservative Catholic splinter group Society of St. Pius X openly challenged Pope Francis by disrupting an interfaith ceremony in the Buenos Aires Metr...
Francis' friendships and strong tradition of dialogue with Jewish leaders are already having an impact, building on the foundation provided by previous popes.
We welcome any comments you may have on this article.
Comments are moderated and we reserve the right to edit or remove any which are derogatory or offensive.
The WJC is not responsible for the content of any comments.