June 27, 2014
[Virginia Theological Seminary press release – Dodoma, Tanzania] The Center for Anglican Communion Studies (CACS), Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) concluded the 2014 Christian-Muslim Conference in Dodoma, Tanzania, June 26 with the presentation of a statement of intent.
The Dodoma Statement 2014 begins: “We are Muslim and Christian faith leaders, scholars, inter-religious workers and peace-builders. Together as descendants of Abraham we believe in one creator God who has called us to be caretakers of creation, to work for the common good and to promote and practice peace.”
The culmination of the three day conference, which brought together over 60 Christian and Muslim faith leaders from Southern and East Africa, the Dodoma Statement 2014 is a historic affirmation of the shared humanity between those who resolve to promote peace and strengthen their commitment to reconciliation.
CACS Director, Dr. Robert Heaney comments, “I have been struck by the incredible wisdom, experience and expertise present at this conference. We must continue to connect and learn from World Anglicanism and the neighbors of Anglicans throughout the world. We have much to learn from our brothers and sisters living as believers in religiously, culturally, historically and linguistically pluralist contexts.”
Co-hosted with Msalato Theological College, conference participants were welcomed on the first day by Archbishop Jacob Chimeledya (VTS ‘03), Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, and Sheikh Mustapha, Regional Sheikh of the Dodoma Region, who were both enthusiastic about the potential of this gathering to achieve mutual respect and unconditional compassion between the faiths.
“It is my wish that this conference becomes a vehicle for us, as religious leaders, to lead us to a deeper understanding of one another,” said Archbishop Chimeledya. “So that as we leave here, we can share the truth with our fellow believers.”
Sheikh Mustapha added: “God made humankind so that we may know one another, instead of despising one another.”
Created in 1998, The Center for Anglican Communion Studies at VTS, seeks to bring community to the Anglican Communion through resourcing congregational community, academic community and cross-cultural community. The Dodoma Statement 2014 is the first such statement issued by Virginia Theological Seminary.