Historic interfaith conference with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif and the Pope of the Catholic Church
February 4, 2019 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
More than 700 religious leaders gathered in Abu Dhabi for the Global Conference of Human Fraternity. The goal of the two-day event was to nurture brotherhood and tolerance between religions, based on the understanding that all faiths were founded to create peace for humanity.
Swami Amritaswarupananda attended the conference on behalf of Amma. In his address he said, “We need to have constant awareness that if we harm or destroy any aspect of creation under the sun—seemingly significant or insignificant—we are, in fact, harming or destroying part of ourselves, an element of our own being.”
The conference concluded with a historic meeting between two of the world’s most prominent religious leaders: His Eminence Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, and His Holiness Pope Francis of the Catholic Church. The Grand Imam is also the chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, an initiative that seeks to counter religious fanaticism by promoting a moderate brand of Islam. For Pope Francis, it was the first visit by a pontiff to the Arabian Peninsula.
The conference was also attended by a number of prominent intellectual, cultural and media figures from around the world. It addressed three main themes: Principles of Human Fraternity, Common Responsibility to Achieve Human Fraternity and Human Fraternity: Challenges and Opportunities.
This was Swami Amritaswarupananda’s second interfaith event in Abu Dhabi, as in November 2018 he accompanied Amma to the Interfaith Summit aimed at Protecting Child Dignity in the Digital World.