Danish-Arab Interfaith Dialogue started in 2011 when representatives of the Contact Group for Muslim and Christian Leaders in Denmark visited leaders of Muslim and Christian communities in Lebanon who formed part of the Arab Group for Muslim-Christian Dialogue. This led to cooperation between the two groups and the dual conferences in Beirut and Copenhagen 2012.
The Danish-Arab Interfaith Dialogue also established the Forum for Interfaith Dialogue, an online platform informing about the origins and developments of the Danish-Arab Interfaith Dialogue project and providing a closed debate forum for participants to share experiences.
Official visits to political and religious leaders in Lebanon
With a Common Voice
At the first Beirut Conference in May 2012, 50 Christian and Muslim representatives from Denmark, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan met at the Danish-Arab Dialogue Conference in Beirut, Lebanon. Here, they discussed what can be said together with a common voice on issues of faith, ethics, religious freedom, coexistence, and dialogue across cultures.
The conference promoted a better understanding between Christians and Muslims by focusing on common values across religious and cultural differences. The conference confirmed that dialogue is crucial to strengthen cooperation and to gain mutual respect between religions. It created space for sharing experiences of local, national and international co-existence in peace, harmony and love. The themes were discussed through lectures, plenary sessions and group discussions inspired by the key question “What can we say together?”
The participants adopted a common statement on issues of faith in God, ethics, religious freedom, and the role of religions across continents with a promise of commitment to promoting a culture of dialogue and equity.
Beyond Words Towards a Committed Partnership
At the Copenhagen Conference in September 2012 the participants went a step further addressing the key question “How can we move beyond words towards a committed partnership between Muslims and Christians?” Here they discussed relations between people of different confessions in local contexts and the necessity of appreciating one another and advocating the interests and the rights of each other.
With examples from both Europe and the Arab world the participants looked at how it would be possible to benefit from best practices and shared experiences of partnerships between Muslims and Christians that have paved the way for religious inclusion and a sense of common values and goals.
Watch the short film produced by DocuLogia, highlighting central statements and ideas at the dual dialogue conferences in Beirut and Copenhagen 2012.
At the Istanbul Conference in November 2014, 50 Christian and Muslim leaders, academics and activists from Denmark and the Arab world participated.
While the initial conference in Beirut was marked by both optimism and concern following the Arab Spring, two years later, violent conflict had spread throughout the Middle East. The conference addressed the volatile situation, how it affected the relationship between religious groups, and how Christians and Muslims in Denmark and the Arab world could be of support to one another – especially in light of religious and political radicalization and challenges resulting from flows of refugees and migration.
Watch the short film produced by DocuLogia sharing the most central messages of the participants.
Interfaith Dialogue Confronting Extremism
The opening session of the Copenhagen Conference in May 2016 took place at Faellessalen at the Danish Parliament.
The participants debated interfaith dialogue and religious radicalization in the Middle East and Europe, religion as cause and/or solution to the problem of extremism, and the role of civil society in preventing and confronting extremism.
Watch the short film produced by DocuLogia about the conference underneath.