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The Imam-Priest Exchange
The Imam-Priest Exchange was an interfaith initiative which aimed to facilitate mutual understanding between priests and imams, setting the precedent for peaceful relationships between Muslims and ChristiansThe desired outcomes were that each participating imam and priest would:
- Build a lasting friendship with a religious leader from the other faith.
- Increase knowledge about the commonalities and differences.
- Remove the negative stereotypes of the other’s faith.
- Increase knowledge of interfaith co-operation, and examples of successful initiatives.
- Gain a fuller understanding of the other’s religion and history.
- Implement inter-faith initiatives in his local community.
- Become an ambassador of peace in his local community and share his knowledge and experience with others.
The project aims at reducing religious tension through practical dialogue. The need for dialogue has become more critical after the 25 January 2011 Revolution, due to the inter-religious strife which has led to incidents of tragic sectarian violence including the burning of churches and numerous clashes.
The project started with 20 imams and 20 priests who planned to meet over four weekends in one year. The project was run over three years, with a new group each year.