RAMALLAH, West Bank (ELCA) — A key Muslim leader here told a group of seven North American Lutheran bishops Jan. 13 that Christians and Muslims must work together for peace and justice. Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Al-Tamini, supreme judge of the Islamic Shari’a Courts in Palestine, suggested that world Muslim and Christian leaders meet soon and deliver “a strong message to the world” for peace in the wake of failed political negotiations and escalating violence in Gaza.
The bishops were part of a group of 44 bishops representing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), who visited the West Bank and Israel Jan. 6-13. The bishops met with religious, political and community leaders, and visited religious sites. Their visit focused on support and encouragement for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL).
Al-Tamini is a member of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, consisting of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders. He noted that half the world’s population is either Christian or Muslim. “It is our destiny to live together as Muslims and Christians with mutual respect,” he said. The sheikh said he hopes Israel will end its occupation of Palestinian land and end discriminatory policies toward Palestinians.
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