Four U.S. religious leaders, two Christian and two Muslim, met with King Abdullah II of Jordan April 20 in Washington, D.C., to discuss specific topics about the Middle East.
Conversation included the current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians with a focus on concerns for Jerusalem, deepening Muslim-Christian relationships and the future of Arab Christianity in the Middle East, said Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop. The 30-minute meeting was private.
Hanson organized the U.S. participants in the discussion, a follow-up to a meeting he had in Amman, Jordan, with the king in January. Invited were Michael Kinnamon, general secretary, National Council of Churches USA in New York; Imam Mohamed Majid, vice president, Islamic Society of North America, Sterling, Va.; and Imam Sayid Hassan Al-Qazwini, scholar and religious leader, Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Mich.
Majid, a Sunni Muslim, said Hanson’s invitation showed a relationship between U.S. Christian and Muslim communities that could be an example of working together. He also said that having Sunni and Shia Muslim representatives in the meeting “shows that the Muslim community believes in interfaith work.”
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