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“Our dialogue as Christians is a model for dialogue between Muslims”

Many remember Bishop Munib Younan as the Lutheran who, along with Pope Francis, commemorated 500 years since the Protestant Reformation.

This took place in Lund, Sweden, four years ago. At the time, he was president of the Lutheran World Federation.

He acknowledges that this gesture led many to insult them. Nevertheless, he says it was worth demonstrating that dialogue is always possible.

Ex-president, Lutheran World Federation
Lund has created a positive energy, not only for the Lutheran and Catholic Churches, but also for the ecumenical movement.”
When the world sees that we have unity, they will really follow our footsteps. When they see that we are fighting, they will be far from us.”

One of the fruits of this event came months later, in 2017, when Calvinists, Anglicans and Presbyterians also accepted the joint declaration on the doctrine of justification.

Munib Younan says the positive effects of dialogue between Protestants and Catholics are not limited to Christians, but have the potential to spread to other religions.

Ex-president, Lutheran World Federation
My good friend, Dr. Mohammad Sammak, wrote about this positive energy. He is one of the leaders of Islam in Beirut for dialogue. He wrote, ‘We have to learn as Muslims, from Lutherans and Catholics, how to reconcile as Shiites and Sunnis and not keep fighting for 500 years.’

He recalls that one of the missions of every religion is to teach coexistence between people of diverse backgrounds. He says that’s why extremism is a big enemy.

Bishop Younan is now retired, but lives in Jerusalem and travels around the world spreading this message.