Last update: 2023-03-20 15:40:33

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The latest tragic shipwreck of a migrants boat in the Mediterranean Sea calls everyone to take responsibility. Because of its complexity, the migratory phenomenon needs solutions of various kinds, taking into account the political, social, economic and environmental factors of the countries involved. But it is first and foremost a human fact that challenges everyone’s conscience.


Christians and Muslims can feel particularly affected by this reality. Indeed, the majority of migrants trying to reach Europe are people of Christian or Muslim faith, the territories through which they transit have a significant Christian or Muslim presence, and the places from which they embark are mostly countries with a Muslim majority.


In recent years, Muslim-Christian dialogue has understandably focused on issues like peaceful coexistence, equal citizenship, and religious violence, resulting in the publication of joint declarations, public statements and international conferences. We believe that migration, with all the suffering that goes with it, deserves similar attention. There are already many initiatives taken in this field by either individuals or institutions, but a joint action would help enhance Muslim-Christian friendship.


It is not the immediate task of religious authorities and the Christian and Muslim faithful to suggest technical solutions to the challenges that migration entails. They can, however, intervene on both a humanitarian and a cultural level, contributing to the debate on this issue in the light of the values enshrined in their respective traditions. As stated in the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyib on 4 February 2019, “Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved. Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need.”


In the encyclical Fratelli Tutti, moreover, Pope Francis pointed out that migration is always an experience of uprooting, and therefore he reaffirmed “the right not to emigrate, that is, to remain in one’s homeland.” At the same time, however, he recalled that “many migrants have fled from war, persecution and natural catastrophes” while “others, rightly, are seeking opportunities for themselves and their families. They dream of a better future and they want to create the conditions for achieving it.”


As it unfolds, migration consists of several stages and involves a plurality of actors. To govern it, action must be taken at every level, upstream and downstream at the same time: working to try to remove the causes that generate it, thus limiting its scope, and at the same time providing safe routes and adequate forms of reception and integration for people who decide to leave their country.


Christians and Muslims are called upon to make their contribution in each of these areas, committing themselves against the injustices and oppression that are often at the root of the decision to leave, opposing the nationalistic and selfish closures that prevent reception, and condemning the unscrupulous actions of human traffickers and smugglers who make money by putting the lives of migrants at risk.


The call for an Islamic-Christian mobilization around these issues is in no way intended to exclude or deny the contribution of people of other religious traditions and convictions, but aims to ensure that a spiritual and moral heritage partly shared between Christians and Muslims is put at the service of the good life of all.



Early signers:


Angelo Scola - Fondatore di OASIS, Arcivescovo Emerito di Milano

Franco Agnesi - Vicario Generale della Diocesi di Milano

Nader Akkad - Imam della Grande Moschea di Roma, Copresidente Commissione internazionale Mariana Musulmano Cristiana

Ebrahim Ali - Presidente dei Giovani Musulmani d’Italia

Anders Cardinal Arborelius ocd - Bishop of Stockholm

Cenap Aydin - Istituto Tevere

Pierluigi Banna - Docente di Teologia presso l’Università Cattolica di Milano

Hanan Ben Rhouma - Rédactrice en chef de

Paolo Bizzeti - Vicario Apostolico dell’Anatolia

Francesca Bocca-Aldaqre - Direttrice Istituto di Studi Islamici Averroè di Piacenza

Riccardo Bonacina - Editorialista e Fondatore di Vita

Massimo Borghesi - Professore di Filosofia Morale presso l’Università di Perugia

Ivana Borsotto - Presidente FOCSIV Federazione degli organismi di volontariato internazionale di ispirazione cristiana

Luca Bressan - Vicario episcopale per la Cultura, la Carità, la Missione e l’Azione Sociale della Diocesi di Milano

Giovanni Bruno - Presidente Fondazione Banco Alimentare

Roberto Catalano - Già co-direttore del Centro Interreligioso del Movimento dei Focolari e docente di teor-etica all’Istituto Universitario Sophia

Khalid Chaouki - Giornalista, già presidente del Centro Islamico Culturale d’Italia

Massimo AbdAllah Cozzolino - Segretario Generale della Confederazione Islamica Italiana

Prof. Salim Daccache s.j. - USJ Beyrouth

Asmae Dachan - Giornalista e scrittrice

Ignazio De Francesco - Monaco della Piccola Famiglia dell’Annunziata

Jean Duchesne - Exécuteur littéraire du cardinal Lustiger, Observatoire Foi et Culture de la Conférence des évêques de France

Izzedin Elzir - Imam di Firenze

Wael Farouq - Docente di Letteratura araba presso l’Università Cattolica di Milano

Paul Hinder - Vicario Apostolico Emerito dell’Arabia meridionale

Marco Impagliazzo - Presidente della Comunità di sant’Egidio

Yassine Lafram - Presidente dell’UCOII

Cristóbal López Romero - Arcivescovo di Rabat

Claudio Lurati - Vicario Apostolico di Alessandria d’Egitto

Saifeddine Maaroufi - Imam di Lecce

Paolo Martinelli - Vicario Apostolico dell’Arabia meridionale

Salvatore Martinez - Presidente nazionale di Rinnovamento nello Spirito

Abd al-Ghafur Masotti - Referente dialogo interreligioso COREIS

Mario Mauro - Ex Ministro della Difesa

Claudio Monge - Direttore DoSt-I Istanbul

Abu Bakr Moretta - Presidente COREIS Comunità Religiosa Islamica Italiana

Karima Moual - Giornalista e scrittrice

Aziza Nevone - Coordinatrice COREIS programmi Integrazione

Andrea Pacini - Presidente della Commissione per l’Ecumenismo e il Dialogo Interreligioso della Diocesi di Torino

Roberto Maria Pagani - Responsabile del servizio per l’Ecumenismo e il Dialogo della Diocesi di Milano

Yahya Pallavicini - Imam della Moschea al-Wahid, Milano COREIS

Jean Jacques Pérennès - Ecole biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem

Paolo Pezzi - Arcidiocesi della Madre di Dio a Mosca

Emmanuel Pisani - Directeur de l’Institut dominicain d’études orientales (Le Caire)

Pierbattista Pizzaballa - Patriarca di Gerusalemme dei Latini

Javier Prades - Rettore dell’Università San Dàmaso di Madrid

Romano Prodi - Già Presidente del Consiglio ed ex Presidente della Commissione Europea

Davide Prosperi - Presidente della Fraternità di Comunione e Liberazione

Giovanni Raimondi - Presidente della Fondazione Internazionale Oasis 

Giovanni Ramonda - Responsabile Generale dell’Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII

Abdellah Redouane - Segretario Generale del Centro Islamico Culturale d’Italia

Gabriel Richi Alberti - Decano della Facoltà di Teologia dell’Università San Dàmaso di Madrid

Diego Sarriò Cucarella - Preside del PISAI

Bernhard Scholz - Presidente della Fondazione Meeting per l’Amicizia fra i Popoli

Giampaolo Silvestri - Segretario generale di Fondazione Avsi

Fiorenzo Tagliabue - CEO SEC Newgate

Younis Tawfiq - Giornalista e scrittore

David Thomas - Professor of Christianity and Islam at the University of Birmingham

Michel Younès - Professeur à l’Université catholique de Lyon

Gianni Zappa - Comunità San Paolo VI - Decano Centro Storico Milano



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