21 June 2004
Methodist Church paving the ‘way forward’ in Inter Faith relations
Faith Meeting Faith, a new publication aiming to counter fears about relating to other religions, and pave the way forward in Inter Faith relations, will be launched at the Methodist Conference next week.
The 72-page booklet reflects on the questions Christians are asking, such as 'is Britain ceasing to be a Christian country?' and 'can Christians pray and worship together with people of other faiths?' Thirty questions are considered and explored, before suggestions are made for the best 'ways forward'.
Organising visits to the places of worship of people of other faiths, taking action to improve the human rights of people of every background, and even reading an English translation of the Qur'an, are some of the proposed ways forward.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, recommended the handbook by saying: "An impressive feature of Faith Meeting Faith is the sensitivity and intelligence with which the diversity of views among Christians about key issues is acknowledged. All Christians should find that their views and concerns are taken seriously here; equally, all should find that they are challenged to think afresh."
Dr Elizabeth Harris, Secretary for Inter Faith Relations at The Methodist Church, explained further: "The deepest challenges to the way we communicate our faith in word and action will come from taking seriously the context in which we are set in twenty-first century Britain. Part of that context is the growth in religious diversity. Faith Meeting Faith is not about what people of other religions believe or worship, but about a how we, as Christians can engage and be 'present' in contemporary culture."
She continued: "Christians can't ignore the faiths of other
people around them. Do we want society to be full of tensions, or
do we want to live harmoniously in a religiously diverse society?
Faith Meeting Faith is written for Christians by
Christians in order to help us discover the right ways forward for
inter faith relations."