Around 250 Muslim and evangelical leaders recently assembled in Morocco to issue a declaration of religious freedom, calling on Muslim nations to defend Christians against persecution.
The Muslim religious leaders, scholars and heads of states released the Marrakesh Declaration, a ground-breaking document that seeks to bring an end to the mounting violence towards Christians in Muslim countries.
According to CBN news, the declaration states: “We call upon the various religious groups bound by the same national fabric to address their mutual state of selective amnesia that blocks memories of centuries of joint and shared living on the same land.”
“We call upon them to rebuild the past by reviving this tradition of conviviality, and restoring our shared trust that has been eroded by extremists using acts of terror and aggression.”
The gathering was made possible through the peace efforts of Bob Roberts, pastor of Northwood Church in Texas, who travelled to Morocco with over 250 Muslim religious leaders to release the declaration.
Roberts has reportedly been forming strategic relations with Muslim leaders, and, along with his friend, Imam Muhammad Magid, he initiated and hosted the “Spreading the Peace Convocation” last October, that saw the gathering together of more than 200 imams and evangelical pastors.
“It was a time to ‘build bridges’ and ‘share mutual concerns,” Roberts said, acknowledging that the way in which the Christian majority in the US treats minority Muslims directly affects how the Muslim majority treats the Christian minority in Muslim countries.
“This is a Muslim conference put together by the top sheiks, ministers of religion, the grand muftis of the top Muslim majority nations, and they came up with a declaration, literally using the language of religious freedom to declare that violence cannot be done in the name of Islam,” said Roberts.
The Marrakesh Declaration is based on Muhammad’s Charter of Medina, a seventh century document instructing how to govern a religious pluralistic state. It is meant to challenge Muslim leaders to actively fight against extremism in their own countries, but does not grant religious freedom protection to non-Muslims against blasphemy or apostasy – crimes that notoriously lead to death penalties for Christians.
- Give thanks for the release of the Marrakesh Declaration, and for the working together of both Christian and Muslim leaders that enabled this agreement.
- Pray for Muslim leaders around the world, in particular in those countries where Christianity is currently illegal. Pray that they will grasp a hold of the concepts of this declaration and seek to put it into practice.
- Pray for Christians to respond with humility and grace to Muslims in their communities, and to treat them with respect and the love of Jesus.
- Pray for an end to Islamic extremism, and for many across the Muslim world to come to know the truth of the gospel of Jesus, His love and grace.
Psalm 133 vs 1: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!“