An innovative meeting for dialogue between Christians and Muslims, held at Washington Cathedral 1-3 March 2010, involved four religious leaders representing Sunni Islam, Shi'a Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglican/Episcopal Church. Each leader was supported by a small delegation comprising members of their respective religious traditions. There were also two Jewish observers present at the meeting.
At the end of the gathering the leaders committed ‘themselves to appeal to government and community leaders to promote peace and reconciliation efforts worldwide. They do so in a world threatened by the global economic crisis and inequitable distribution of resources, by humanitarian crises caused by natural disasters, food, water, and energy shortages, and climate change. New and enduring political and religious conflicts are increasing violence at every level. In particular, they recalled that the unresolved conflict in the Holy Land is the cause of permanent instability and dramatic violence imposed on persons and peoples of an entire region of the world. The worship of God who demands serious moral purpose is at the very core of Christianity and Islam; therefore, religious leaders must co-operatively work with each other and the political leaders in their respective countries in response to these crises.’
The full communique from the meeting, which makes clear the intention of the leaders to follow through from this discussion with a plan of action, can be found at http://www.nationalcathedral.org/pdfs/Summit2010_poa.pdf
The leader of the Anglican/Episcopal delegation was Bishop John Bryson Chane, Episcopal Bishop of Washington. The Anglican delegation included members of the Anglican Communion Network for Inter Faith Concerns (NIFCON), namely Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon (Kaduna, Nigeria), Bishop Pierre Whalon (American Convocation in Europe), and Clare Amos (NIFCON Secretary). The leaders of the other delegations were Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran (Roman Catholic), Professor Ahmad Muhammad El Tayeb (Sunni Muslim) and Dr Ahmad Iravani (Shi'a Muslim) . The dialogue was organised by Canon John L Peterson of Washington Cathedral’s Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation.