On Feb. 4 Pope Francis met with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, in Abu Dabhi, and the two of them issued a Document on Human Fraternity. In it they speak of “God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters, to fill the earth and make known the values of goodness, love and peace”  They speak “of  our common belief in God who did not create men and women to be killed or to fight one another, nor to be tortured or humiliated in their lives and circumstances,” and they reject the use of religion to justify terrorism.

These views, held by the vast majority of Christians and Muslims worldwide, are in stark contrast to the message of distrust and fear of our Muslim sisters and brothers promoted by a display at the Capitol of West Virginia this past Friday. We join many others in condemning anti-Muslim messages, and we ask all people of good will to pray for the good of all West Virginians, whatever their religion or ethnic background.

For more information, contact Tim Bishop, spokesperson for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at (304) 233-0880 or (304) 312-0332.