AFRICA/EGYPT - The Islamic University of al Azhar convenes Muslims and Christians to discuss the "Jerusalem issue"

Thursday, 4 January 2018 middle east   jerusalem   oriental churches   islam   holy places  

Radio Vaticana

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The University of Al Azhar, the main academic-theological center of Sunni Islam, is preparing to host an international conference on Jerusalem, to confront "institutions and important bodies" around the present and the future of the Holy City. Announced already last July, the Conference should have been held already last September. After the postponement, the decision of the US Administration to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel has brought the Holy City back to the center of local and international tensions, contributing to increasing interest around the Conference promoted by Al Azhar. Scholars, politicians and Muslim and Christian representatives have been invited to the initiative, organized in collaboration with the Muslim Council of the Elders. Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyib, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, report Egyptian sources consulted by Agenzia Fides - already in December confronted experts and consultants with the intent to provide the conference with a strong critical impression of the political choices made by Trump’s Administration on Jerusalem. At the moment, the presence of Maronite Patriarch Boutros Bechara Rai has been confirmed among the participants of the initiative. The Maronite Patriarchate announced a visit of Patriarch Rai to Egypt at the invitation of the Grand Imam al Tayyib in the days during which the Conference on Jerusalem is scheduled, a visit that will allow the Primate of the Maronite Church to express his closeness to Coptic Christians. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 4/1/2018)