Saudi Arabia: King Salman meets Vatican official to confront violence and extremism

Saudi Arabia: King Salman meets Vatican official to confront violence and extremism and Carol Glatz/

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received at his office at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh on Wednesday, April 18, the Chairman of the Pontifical Council for Interfaith Dialogue at the Vatican, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and his accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, they stressed the important role of followers of religions and cultures in renouncing violence, extremism, terrorism and achieving worldwide security and stability.

The meeting was also attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, Minister of Interior, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir.

During his meeting with a top Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia, the Vatican’s chief interreligious dialogue official called for the equal treatment of people of all religions, saying discrimination and double standards based on religious affiliation only increase Islamophobia and Christianophobia.

And, religious leaders “have a duty to keep religions from being at the service of an ideology” and to know how “to recognize that some of our fellow believers, like the terrorists, are not behaving properly,” said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

“Terrorism is a constant threat, and for that reason we must be clear and never justify it. All forms of terrorism want to prove the impossibility of coexistence. We believe the exact opposite. We must avoid aggression and denigration,” he said during a meeting April 14 with the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, Sheik Mohammed bin Abdul Karim al-Issa.

Every religion has its extremists and fundamentalists, Tauran said in the meeting. They have strayed from a “solid and wise” understanding of their own faith and see those who do not share their views as “unbelievers,” who must convert or be “eliminated,” he added.

They have been misled, he said, and can “easily turn to violence in the name of religion, including terrorism. They become persuaded, through brainwashing, that they are serving God. The truth is that they are only hurting themselves, destroying others, ruining the image of their religion and their fellow believers.” Such people, he added, “need our prayers and our help.”

Tauran was in Saudi Arabia as head of a Vatican delegation visiting the country April 13-20. Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Abdurrahman bin Abdulaziz, deputy governor of Riyadh, and al-Issa welcomed the delegation upon its arrival in Riyadh. Pope Francis received al-Issa at the Vatican in September 2017.

The Vatican delegation included Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, council secretary, and Msgr. Khaled Akasheh, head of the council’s section for relations with Muslims.

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:29
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