Minarets and church towers mingle on Cairo’s skyline, but tensions mar Egypt’s record of religious coexistence and a perception of growing intolerance is leading some Christians to shun their Muslim compatriots.
With Christianity dwindling in its Middle Eastern birthplace, Pope Benedict has convened Catholic bishops from the region to debate how to save its minority communities and promote harmony with their Muslim neighbours.
Franciscan Father David Jaeger is one of the Roman Catholic Church’s most authoritative experts on the Middle East. Until a few weeks ago, he was the delegate of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land in Rome. A convert from Judaism who became a Roman Catholic priest in 1986, he is a noted canon lawyer. He was part of the Vatican team that negotiated diplomatic relations with Israel in 1994 and is part of the Vatican team that is still ironing out the final subsidiary details of that accord. He spoke to Reuters and Reuters Television about the upcoming Mideast synod in the atrium of Antonianum University in Rome. Here is a transcript of parts of the conversation.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Muslims must obey the constitution and not sharia law if they want to live in Germany, which is debating the integration of its 4 million-strong Muslim population.
Thursday evening at a luxury, Pharaonic-themed spa in Dubai. Emirati women, colorful eye makeup contrasting with their black robes, wait by a bronze statue of a smiling Cleopatra for their weekend beauty treat.
Two Christian men on trial in Algeria for eating during daylight in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan were acquitted on Tuesday, a verdict their supporters said was a triumph for religious freedom.
(Photo: Geert Wilders (C) at his trial in Amsterdam, 4 Oct 2010/Marcel Antonisse)
Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, a key player in efforts to form a new government, has accused judges trying him on charges of inciting hatred of scandalous bias and demanded they be replaced.
(Photo: An imam leads prayers at a mosque in Dortmund on German Unity Day, October 3, 2010./Ina Fassbender)
German President Christian Wulff said Sunday that Islam had a place in Germany, during a speech celebrating two decades of the country’s reunification.