The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2012 Eid message

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As I look back over the last ten years, it is clear that our relationship as Christians and Muslims has grown and deepened. It has not been an easy time, and there are huge challenges that we still face together. Nevertheless, we have learned how to quarry together the resources we have of a vision of human beings honoured before God. The word honour, I believe, is one we should learn to use more freely, and even extravagantly, when we talk about our human world. We honour human beings because God in his creation and in his dealings with human beings honours them.

In practical terms this honouring has meant that Muslims and Christians have been working as never before in international development to serve the world’s poorest people, and I want to recognise the huge amount of financial giving that the Muslim community pours out during Ramadan especially. It has also meant at a local level that Muslims have shared with Christians and others during Ramadan in service to their communities through the ‘A Year of Service’ initiative, in the ‘Near Neighbours’ programme and in many other ways.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

11 Comments
Posted August 17, 2012 at 5:16 am

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1. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Perhaps next year, we can have a Ramadan message.

August 17, 8:12 am | [comment link]
2. Katherine wrote:

Depends on who the Archbishop is, #1.  Although I don’t hold out much hope ...

August 17, 9:25 am | [comment link]
3. Dan Crawford wrote:

Maybe better, a report on the degree to which Anglicans are talking to one another.

August 17, 9:25 am | [comment link]
4. Bruce806 wrote:

Do Muslim leaders issue similar greetings to us Christians on our holidays?

August 17, 2:22 pm | [comment link]
5. sophy0075 wrote:

Perhaps next year the Archbishop will issue a message in which he confesses his unqualified belief in the Nicene Creed and John 14:6.

August 17, 3:45 pm | [comment link]
6. stevejax wrote:

I consider myself fairly conservative (but also one who served in the Muslim world) so regardless of your views are on the Archbishop or Islam, we are called to love our neighbors and NOT do as others do.  We have a much higher calling.

I am constantly amazed at the sarcastic comments regarding Islam on this blog; and a failure to venture beyond bumper sticker quotes into a deeper discussion of how we can love our Muslim neighbors with the love of Chist… as, unfortunately, evidenced by the comments thus far.  And that process MUST start with the simple act of communicating with our Muslim neighbors.

And since we, as Christians, have failed to go to the Muslim world… God has brought the Muslim world to us.

August 17, 4:22 pm | [comment link]
7. Alta Californian wrote:

stevejax, well said.

August 17, 7:21 pm | [comment link]
8. Bruce806 wrote:

For the record, my question was not rhetorical and it was not intended to be sarcastic.  I’m really wondering if Muslim leaders make similar overtures to Christians on our holidays.  If they do I’m not aware of it.  When I lived in Saudi Arabia, we weren’t even allowed to publicly acknowledge our Christian faith, much less receive a holiday greeting from Saudi Muslim leaders.  I’m not aware of any American or British Muslim leaders who give Easter or Christmas greetings to Christians, but maybe there are some, so it’s a sincere question…

August 17, 8:39 pm | [comment link]
9. BlueOntario wrote:

And since we, as Christians, have failed to go to the Muslim world… God has brought the Muslim world to us.

Not sure what you mean by “failed.” I have Christian friends working in Muslim countries assisting people. They serve them as an unspoken witness to Christ’s love, because to hand someone a Gospel or speak openly of their faith would result, in the best circumstances, in the government expelling them.

August 18, 9:33 pm | [comment link]
10. IHeartRyle wrote:

Bruce806, I recall several years ago the then president of Iran, Mr. Khatami, issued rather warm Christmas greetings to the world’s Christians. He spoke for a good couple minutes about how wonderful Jesus “was.” It was rather astounding. But that is just anecdotal. I can’t imagine that is common.

August 19, 6:50 pm | [comment link]
11. stevejax wrote:

Bruce906:  Yes, there are quite a few who have gone to the Muslim world to share the love of Christ.  And I am quite aware of the challenges of servings in those regions.

That being said, if one compares the resources ( people, prayer, money) that is poured into the “Christianized” countries of sub-Saharan Africa (not that this is wrong—we are indeed called to help and train and be trained by our fellow Christians in need),  the amount is infinitesimally small. It isn’t necessary for givings to those countries to diminish in order to minister in the Muslim world ( i believe in a Jack Kemp approach ... i.e. a growing pie of resources vs. a static size where a larger piece to one, requires a smaller piece to another.)

As Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Even we, as Christians, seem too concerned about the “cultural war” or the “clash of civilizations”, than to remember that out we are to love our enemies and go to the ends of the earth—even the very uncomfortable places—with the Good News.

August 20, 9:18 am | [comment link]


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