Danish – Arab Dialogue Conference 2012

Danish – Arab Dialogue Conference was held from April 30 until May 3, 2012 in Beirut. The Conference was organized by the "Arab Group" a joint initiative of the National Council of Churches of Denmark and the Muslim Council of Denmark in cooperation with the "Arab Group For Muslim-Christian Dialogue" with the participation of fifty Muslim – Christian representatives from Denmark, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Rev. Haroutune Selimian, president of the Armenian Protestant Churches in Syria, representrd UAECNE and the Armenia Protestant Community in Syria.

During the conference the attendees discussed, "What can be said together about matters of faith and ethics, religious freedom and co-existence and dialogue between the Muslim - Christian."

The meetings reinforced the understanding between Muslims and Christians through emphasis on shared values that transcend religious and cultural differences. As well as underlined the importance of dialogue to strengthen the cooperation and to make mutual recognition which has served as a platform to exchange experiences of living together in peace at the local, national and international level.

The conference focused on the following subject “In order to better understanding between Muslims and Christians".

The participants agreed on a common message based on the following principles:
1 - Christians and Muslims declare their faith in God the Creator the one that brings us together, and that this faith establishes a common space for dialogue in the future.
2 - Muslims and Christians declare that our concepts about God are different and should not be a source of a lack of confidence.
3 - Agree that the deep love of God calls us to love everyone and respect for the views and rights regardless of religious or political beliefs.
4 - Bind to Christian values and Islamic principles of human rights, for example, issue of human dignity and freedom of expression and religious freedom, equality and the right to life and women's rights and justice for all.
5 - Christians and Muslims share the moral values such as compassion and attention to the weak and mutual respect.
6 - We consider that the core values of Islam and Christianity are the source of the enrichment of our societies.
7 - Individuals and religious groups are an essential part of and active in the community, religious differences must be a source of enrichment for the rights of cultural, political, and religious of all.
8 - We commit ourselves to promoting a culture of equality and a better understanding and value of citizenship in the community through awareness and the use of the media and educational curricula.

During the conference, on behalf of the Armenian Evangelical Community, Rev. H. Selimian stressed that the dialogue is a way of life in Syria and other Arab states, and the dialogue of life is more important than the theological dialogue.

Rev.H. Selimian said. "We have agreed that the theological dialogue must emerge from a dialogue of life today." Also added, "Religious extremism hurts all Islamic and Christian societies because of extremism in stray away rationality and love and life that appeals to equality between the members of the community on their differences."

At the end, Selimian concluded: "We have agreed that the themes that unite us are more themes that divide us, and we must invest axes to create a positive, constructive life safe and sound, especially in Europe and the Arab countries."