Human brotherhood grow in friendship and dialogue

By Br. Ibrahim Faltas

It has been three years, since I attended the historic meeting that took place in Abu Dhabi, where the grandeur of Pope Francis' human and spiritual charisma joined in a historic embrace with that of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, evoking centuries later the meeting between St. Francis and the Sultan of Egypt Malik al Kamel in Damietta, who opened the ways of dialogue.

The meeting, which took place Feb. 3-5, 2019, was loaded with signficance and signs. It was the first time of Pope Francis' visit, to the UAE, but also the first pope in history.

Thanks to theHigh Committee on Human Brotherhood, which is composed of different religious leaders, scholars and men of culture, drawingn inspiration from the 2019 Document on Human Brotherhood for World Peace and Common Coexistence, they still strive, even today, for sharing its message of peace and mutual understanding, to act concretely according to the aspirations of the Document on Human Brotherhood, spreading the values of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.

On Feb. 4, 2019, during the Holy Father's Trip to the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (Cairo), Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, signed the Document on Human Brotherhood for Peace, which also gave rise to the International Day of Brotherhood called by the UN for Feb. 4.

To remember this celebration is to carry it in our hearts and we are called to live it personally, letting the spirit of respect, dialogue, tolerance and fraternity prevail, in order to face the great world crisis, and in our own small way, we must bring hope and suitable, innovative and effective tools to come out, as brothers, from this prolonged pandemic, a real challenge for humanity!

All of us, indiscriminately all of us have been affected, and if in one aspect the pandemic, has put us all on the same level, without any religious or political difference, on the other hand it has increased poverty in many peoples, allowed wars and abuses of power to continue their way, at the expense of poor people, claiming, sometimes a religious war that does not exist, but dictated only by power logics.

Today in the memory of this celebration, perhaps we need to awaken our dormant consciences, from the pandemic, and set out again, to achieve the goals of a true Human Brotherhood, our God sustains us, our faith leads us to hope beyond hope, our responsibility will lead us towards the realization of a way of living as brothers, even here in the Holy Land, In Jerusalem, we are already a symbol, a model for all peoples, let us work together so that the document on Human Brotherhood becomes life, visible to those far away, visible even to those who do not want to see, committing ourselves at the educational level to remove hatred, instilling a ray of hope, because all believers in God are predestined to walk the path of Peace, strengthening friendship, solidarity, cooperation in order to be able to face any challenge that could compromise our stability.

For many Christians, this path of fraternity also has a Mother, named Mary (FT 278). In the Abu Dhabi meeting, with the international presence of many religious from different churches, as for the whole Islamic world, I had a great experience of internationality, rich in religiosity, but also in culture, wisdom, experience, and the memory of an important passage of Pope Francis is alive in me:

 In that fraternal meeting, which I remember with joy, with Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, "we firmly declared that religions never incite war and never solicit feelings of hatred, hostility, extremism, nor do they invite violence or bloodshed. These misfortunes are the result of the deviation from religious teachings, the political use of religions and also the interpretations of groups of religious men who have abused -at certain stages of history- the influence of religious sentiment on the hearts of men [...]. For God, the Almighty, does not need to be defended by anyone and does not want his name to be used to terrorize people."

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