A few decades ago Qatar was a tribal society with an economy based largely on fishing, pearl harvesting and camel and horse breeding. In 1995 a bloodless coup set the stage for the modernization of the country’s oil and gas industries. Qatar’s economy grew 24 percent in 2006 alone, and its per capita income that year was $61,540. Today Qatar is on track to become the wealthiest nation (on a per capita basis) in the world.
When Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed an open letter to George W. Bush in May 2006, he invoked Judgment Day, the day when the deeds of all political leaders will be examined. Ahmadinejad asked Bush whether either of them would be accepted “in the promised world, where . . .
Krister Stendahl, a biblical scholar, one-time Lutheran bishop of his native Stockholm and former dean of Harvard University Divinity School, is being remembered for his pathbreaking efforts in Christian-Jewish understanding and his plainspoken support for women’s ordination and gay rights.
A groundbreaking group of prominent Muslim scholars and clerics has accepted the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI for a “working meeting” on interreligious dialogue at the Vatican within the next two months.
More than 100 U.S. Christian leaders, mainline and evangelical, have endorsed a favorable response to an unprecedented Muslim call for churches to help initiate international dialogue between the two faiths.
Andalusia, the vibrant, southernmost region of Spain, is famous for its party culture, bullfighting and oceans of sunshine. The cathedral spire in the largest city, Seville, which towers over the old quarter, guides pedestrians to the third-largest church in Christendom.
Muslim leaders at an interfaith peace conference with Pope Benedict XVI in Naples chided him for not responding to a recent olive-branch missive from Muslim scholars and complained that the reaction of a high Vatican official “misses the very point of dialogue.”
The streets of Damascus are empty. No horns blare, no cars crawl through the narrow streets or crowd the intersections. I’m not darting between cars for a change, and there’s hardly anyone on the street. What’s going on? Where is everybody in this bustling, chaotic city of nearly 6 million? Then I remember: it’s Friday, the Muslim holy day.