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10 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I July 2009
New guidelines to help Christians
and Muslims share faith
The first ever set of guidelines giving
advice for Christians and Muslims
who want to share their faith in an
ethical way was launched at Islamic
Relief’s Headquarters in London.
The guide, which contains 10
points of advice, has been produced
by the Christian Muslim Forum,
a national body set up in 2006 to
improve relationships between the
two faiths.
Youth Specialist on the Forum, Dr
Andrew Smith, was the key speaker at
the launch. He has been working for
the evangelical organization Scripture
Union in inner city Birmingham for the
past 14 years and has been active in
promoting his own faith whilst at the
same time seeking to listen to and
understand his Muslim neighbours.
“Speaking with local Muslims and
sharing my faith has been fascinating,
stimulating, even fun, but at times it
has become competitive, aggressive
and has left a nasty taste in my
mouth. I was left feeling frustrated
and defensive and with no wish to do
it again,” he said.
“Talking to others I realized that
this was a common experience, so the
idea of a set of principles that would
help both faiths avoid this, seemed to
me an obvious way forward.”
Speaking alongside Dr Smith will
be Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Interfaith
spokesman for the Muslim Council of
Britain. He recognizes that this is a
controversial and sensitive area
“Islam and Christianity are two
world religions that are missionary -
and therefore are ever vying with each
other for converts,” he said. “But we
should be able to speak of our faith
honestly and with conviction, without
demeaning or ridiculing others.
“There is no place for coercion or
manipulation, he said adding, “It is
our hope that these ethical guidelines
will be adopted by many Christian
and Muslim organizations.”
The launch will be chaired by the
Vice-Chair of the Christian Muslim
Forum, Dr Richard Cheetham, the
Bishop of Kingston, and will be
attended by representatives from
Muslim and Christian missionary
organizations.
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