Closing press conference at the Regional Synod 2018: press officer Jens Peter Iven, predsident Manfred Rekowski, Miriam Lohrengel and Dr Ilka Werner.
The encounter with Muslims, the President’s own summary of the Synod and a look forward towards the Youth Synod in 2019 were the topics dealt with during the closing press conference of the 2018 Regional Synod meeting in Bad Neuenahr.
Speaking at the press conference, Dr Ilka Werner, Superintendent in Solingen and Chair of the Theological Committee, said that the theological position statement “On encounter with Muslims”, that had been adopted by the Synod earlier that day, formulated and brought together insights from the last 50 years of Christian-Muslim dialogue.
“The resolution to adopt the statement emphasises that theological encounter takes place at an equal level” said Dr Werner. “We Christians believe in the triune God and we do not avoid this issue. But we recognise the belief of Muslims as being faith in one God. “
We can engage in dialogue, as Muslims take seriously the traditions of the Bible and both religions relate to it, according to Dr Werner. It is now a matter of recognising the different interpretations and setting these in a good relationship with one another. The aims of setting out a position for Christian-Muslim dialogue was to get to know each other better, to enable joint action and to respect the traditions of each.
President Manfred Rekowski identified the resolution on the encounter with Muslims as one of the main fruits of this Synod, as was also the peace statement. He had been particularly impressed by the way in which the Synod had dealt with these issues. “It was good to see that we can engage in dialogue not just externally, but also internally, and that we can listen to one another and engage in conversation with each other.”
Looking ahead to the Youth Synod which is to take place from 4 – 6 January 2019, Miriam Lohrengel, Chair of Evangelical Youth in the Rhineland, expressed her wish that the Youth Synod would not only offer a space for encounters, but would bring greater participation: “Together, we want to find new paths to follow.”
ekir,de / cs, photography: Hans-Jürgen Vollrath / 17.01.2018