Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Visits Pope Francis in Efforts to Promote Coexistence
Last Friday, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb flew across the Mediterranean to meet with the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis II, with the goal of following up on the objectives contained in the Document on Human Fraternity established in August.
The two patriarchs sat together along with a number of key political figures, including Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Ambassador of Egypt to the Holy See, Mahmoud Samy and representatives of the University of Al-Azhar. The discussions were mainly focused on promoting interreligious dialogue and the values of tolerance and coexistence.
Under the auspices of the UAE’s government, and with the blessings of both leaders, the meeting discussed the inauguration of the Abrahamic Family House, which is set to be a religious complex in Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, with equal representation from all three Abrahamic religions. For instance, the complex will include a mosque, a church, and a synagogue.
The project, which is set to be completed by 2022, is the first to be constructed under the supervision of the Human Fraternity Committee, which was established back in August as part of the UAE’s interfaith dialogue forum.
During the meeting, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb and Pope Francis II urged the committee members to turn the objectives of the document into real-life objectives and delve into more projects that would bring humanity together.