Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land

Panel titled

“Christian Arabs and the Post - Synodal
Apostolic Exhortation of His Holiness
Pope Benedict XVI”

14 October 2012
Amman, Jordan

Read the program

The Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center in cooperation with the Royal Cultural Center organized the panel on Sunday, 14 October 2012. The panel comprised researchers, religious personalities and others from Lebanon and Jordan.

Fr. Nabil Haddad, Director of Coexistence Center welcomed all participants and gave a brief idea about the importance of religious tolerance and a life together in Jordan in the all other countries.

The panelists were Dr. Muhammad al-Sammak, (Beirut) Mr. Zeyad al-Sayegh, (Beirut) Dr. Geries S. Khoury (Bethlehem) and Dr. Mundhir Haddadin (Jordan) was the moderator of the panel. Fr. Dr. Gabi Hashem, Director of the International Center for Dialogue – Beirut, gave the conclusion remarks.

All panelists emphasized the importance of interfaith dialogue and life in dignity, and said a lot about the importance of the visit of His Holiness to Lebanon in this period in which the whole Middle East is witnessing real changes in many countries.

Dr. Geries S. Khoury, Director of Al-Liqa’ Cnter, spoke about the need to work together, Chrstians and Muslims, in order to guarantee a constitution which stresses equality of citizens and civil society in our Arab countries where all citizens enjoy full citizenships as well as equal rights and responsibilities.

Dr. Khoury emphasized the independence and fairness of legislative, judicial and executive authorities which are not affected by anyone regardless of his / her position. This is a basic condition in order to provide personal and societal safely and justice. It is important as well to ask authorities to provide social justice and noble living for citizens.

In regard to the West and its policies, Dr. Geries added, in general, throughout history the Western policy did not protect Christians. On the contrary its own interest was far important than Christians. The West’s policies to a large degree contributed greatly to emigration from Arab countries. The West is to blame for this in addition to our Arab political leadership which often did not work for human dignity which God wants for all. Dr. Khoury concluded his remarks by stressing that laws must be promulgated to guarantee full equality among citizens in our Arab countries, and education must be developed which calls for respecting “the other” and his / her freedom and dignity.

Social justice and personal safety must be stressed as well, and if the great powers do not play their proper role in promoting peace and justice, and if the occupied land is not returned to the Arabs including the setting up of a Palestinian state, the state of our countries will remain in ebb and flow and unstable; and at that time no one can tell a Muslim or a Christian to stay and not to emigrate.