Christianity, Judaism and Islam come together to dialogue on “universal brotherhood” in the light of ‘Fratelli Tutti’

The Abraham Forum for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue has organized this afternoon, October 26, the webinar ‘The Universal Brotherhood’ in the framework of the recent publication of the third encyclical of Pope Francis, ‘Fratelli Tutti’. Representatives and lay people of the three religions of the book participated in the colloquium, including the secretary general of the Commission of the Episcopal Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), Manuel Barrios.



“In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells us that my brother is not only the one close to me, but everyone who needs my help”, said the prelate when answering the question of what Christianity says about brotherhood towards other peoples and religions. Likewise, he stressed that, in the encyclical, the Pope speaks not only of this parable, but also of the moment when Saint Francis goes to see the Sultan of Egypt. “It is a time when there were crusades, in which the relationship with other religions was understood that way, and he did something different”, has aimed. For this reason, “the Pope emphasizes overcoming barriers when establishing fraternity, because in the end there is always something that unites us.”

For its part, the magnet Abdelaziz Hammaoui has explained that “God in the Qur’an addresses humanity as one family” and, “in addition to underlining this, it explains and justifies the motive and origin of diversity as something that is not accidental in this world, but as part of God’s will.” “It also reminds us that we have a common origin and destiny, common values ​​(justice, love, solidarity …) and the same responsibility to take care of the common home,” he added.

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Part of the unit

Likewise, the Quran also stresses that “There is no compulsion in faith, and that human dignity is above all”, in addition to “the equality of all human beings, be they men or women, Arabs, white or black, since man is born from the earth, and needs God.” Finally, Hammaoui has remarked that the Koran encourages Muslims to dialogue with the faithful of the religions of the book – Jews and Christians – and that “another of the great foundations of the Koran is that judgment only belongs to God, never to the men”.

“The first message that we find in the Torah is that all human beings belong to the same family,” said the rabino Avi Tawil, Director of the Center for the European Jewish Community (EJCC). Furthermore, the Torah “repeats for 8 times the love and welcome abroad, ‘because you have also been in Egypt.” “El el Shema ends with the word ‘one’, referring to the fact that God is one,” he explained. “When we meditate on the Shema we see that there is a unity that is above all else, and this is not a denial of polytheism. When we say ‘one’ it is because diversity is appealed to, and all those details of the world are part of that unity “, has underlined.

For this reason, when reciting the Shema every day, “what we do is remember that all this diversity is part of a single thing.” “Each human group has that tendency to love only those who are part of its group. But God asks us to rise a little further “, has said. “If we have empathy beyond our group, we are going a little beyond our own nature.”

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“We are not so different”

To end the meeting, a believer from each of the religions explained his experience of brotherhood lived from his own confession. Marcel Israel, a Sephardic Jew, has made reference to the need to promote societies where people really mix and live together. “Jews in the Balkans have lived in brotherhood with all ethnic groups,” he pointed out. As a result, “it was the believers of the other religions, especially Islam, who saved the Bulgarian Jews during the holocaust.”

Maria Jesus Hernando, Episcopal delegate for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue of the Diocese of Getafe, has quoted the first Letter of Juan: “Who does not love his brother, whom he sees, cannot love God, whom he does not see.” “Jesus continually shows us love of neighbor as a brother,” he pointed out. Y Saif El Islam Benabdennour, doctor in Hispanic Philology, has remarked that “if God had wanted, we would all have been part of the same community.” However, “it is not so, and we must see in this the grace of God.” “In general, we all have practically the same aspirations, concerns … so we are not so different, we must look into our hearts again,” he stressed.