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GENEVA (RNS/ENInews) Global Christian and Muslim leaders have called for a new group that can be mobilized whenever a crisis threatens to fuel conflict between Christians and Muslims.
“Religion is often invoked in conflict creation, even when other factors, such as unfair resource allocation, oppression, occupation and injustice, are the real roots of conflict,” the leaders said in a closing statement after a Nov. 1-4 meeting here.

“The basis of our faiths, as expressed in the call to get to know each other and the two commandments to love God and to love the neighbor, provide a solid ground for our common responsibility to act and address common concerns.”

The meeting at the Ecumenical Center was convened by the World Council of Churches, the Libyan-based World Islamic Call Society, the Jordanian-based Royal Aal al Bayt Institute and the Consortium of “A Common Word,” a group that includes Muslim scholars from around the world.

The summit followed an Oct. 31 attack on a Catholic church in Baghdad that left at least 58 Christian worshippers dead. The Christian and Muslim leaders issued a statement calling for “an end to all terrorist attacks aimed at degrading Iraqi people, irrespective of their religious affiliation, and defiling Christian and Islamic sacred places.”

WCC General Secretary Olav Fykse Tveit said the proposed crisis-intervention group should pursue “preventative action,” citing efforts to prevent violence from breaking out in Sudan between the largely Christian south and Muslim north ahead of an independence referendum for the south.

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