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2008-06-23
Amman, Jordan
The international Oasis Centre in Jordan on religious freedom among Christians and Muslims
More than 40 experts from the European and Asian world, most of them Islamic, are studying religious freedom and the conversion to other religions in the Muslim world. A meeting is scheduled with members of the Royal Institute for Inter-faith Studies of Amman, which is behind the Letter of the 138 Muslim scholars to the pope.

"Religious freedom: a good for every society": is the theme of the meeting that is being held in Amman from June 21-25. The encounter coincides with the meeting of the scholarly committee of the international magazine Oasis, which for years has been studying and testifying to the possibilities for encounter between Islam and Christianity.

The topics on the table range from human rights to religious freedom and freedom of conversion, problems that are very keenly felt in majority Islamic areas. The gathering will be attended by 40 experts and Roman Catholic personalities from Italy, Indonesia, Lebanon, the Holy Land, Iraq. The director of Catholic News Agency AsiaNews, Fr Bernardo Cervellera, has also been invited.

Founded by Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, in 2004, the Oasis Centre publishes a magazine in various languages and counts among its collaborators personalities and scholars from all over the world, and from various confessions.

The conference will be held at the Visitation Home of the Sisters of the Rosary in Amman. The programme includes a meeting with ambassador Hasan Abu Ni'mah , director of the Royal Institute for Inter-faith Studies in Amman ( http://www.riifs.org/ ) . This institute, established by prince el-Hassan Ibn Talal, is the one that organised the Letter of the 138 Islamic scholars sent to Benedict XVI. The letter helped to expand the range of dialogue with the Vatican.

Last March, a Roman Catholic-Islamic forum was opened, and next November a meeting will be held in Rome with experts who will then be received by the pope.

Source: Catholic News Agency AsiaNews, Rome/Italy
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