Interfaith agreement will not create one world religion, says author

Pope Francis and Egyptian Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, attend a meeting with other religious and political leaders outside the Colosseum in Rome on October 7, 2021

CNS photo/Paul Haring

An adviser to Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al Azhar, issued a detailed statement on the human brotherhood document signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam on February 4, 2019. Judge Mahmud Salam, who was personally involved in drafting the Abu Dhabi document, is It’s hard to deny that the signatories aimed to merge the different faiths into a “one world religion”.

In his speech published in Arabic on the website abouna.org, Judge Salam said that the Abu Dhabi document was intended as a call for peace and coexistence “addressed to all human beings, believers and non-believers alike. “. But lately, “a false narrative” had developed around this initiative, presenting it as an attempt to create “a new religion, called the … ‘Abrahamic religion’”.

This “pseudo-narrative”, he said, is mainly aimed at the “Abrahamic Family House”, an interfaith complex being built in Abu Dhabi at the instigation of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, a body created to promote initiatives inspired by the Abu Dhabi Document. , of which Salam is secretary.

This project will see the construction of a church, a mosque, a synagogue and a cultural center on the same site. “Some websites and social media,” Mahmud Salam said, “have targeted this project by falsely claiming that the initiative is an attempt to unify all Abrahamic faiths and promote a ‘one world religion’.” The Egyptian judge referred to the expression “Chrislam”, which was used in he said, “media manipulation campaigns” alleging the existence of plans to “merge” Christianity and Islam into one religion.

The facts are, Salam said, that a mosque, a church and a synagogue will be built in three separate buildings, and each of them will clearly express its connection with its respective religious community. The three buildings will host rites and liturgies according to their respective traditions, as has been the case for centuries in many cities in the Middle East, where churches, synagogues and mosques are often located next to each other, even on the same ground, he pointed out. outside.

Salam, however, explained that the three religious traditions often share the same aspirations for peace and justice, and the Abrahamic Family House – whose name refers to the bond that unites Jews, Christians and Muslims with the patriarch Abraham – would certainly be a sign of this sharing. This takes nothing away from the particularity and richness of the traditions of each community of believers.

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