ISLAM-CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE

11 the two shores of the Mediterranean clo- ser together: to introduce the other, their historical, sociological, cultural, religious reality, certainly involves inconveniences at different levels but can lead to a mutual enrichment; it is one of the fundamental condition for the realization of a peaceful coexistence and for a good management of the immigration phenomenon. As a Christian of the East, I cannot fail to place particular emphasis on the reality of the Christian minority in Arab countries, also present among immigrants in Italy. The choice to talk about this forgotten mi- nority who survived centuries of Muslim dominance stems from the belief that this community can play an important role in the development of a new relationship between the different religious and cultu- ral identities present in the Middle East and today also in Europe . It should not be overlooked that the problems created by immigration in our country must be sol- ved by seeking parallel solutions also in the countries of origin of immigrants. The- refore the testimony presented here aims to offer concrete indications on these is- sues. Through the common commitment of Christians and Muslims in the West, it is possible to establish a reciprocal exchan- ge that fosters mutual knowledge and set an example on how to live with people who have different mentality, faith, tradi- tions, and who are coming to accept that differences can be a source of enrich- ment for everyone. These relationships of coexistence and understanding can be transferred and implemented in Arab countries, by tho- se Muslims who decide to return and be included in bilateral agreements betwe- en states: the promotion of the values of civil and religious freedom for all in their countries without any discrimination with the aim to of creating a culture of equal rights, sharing of duties among all citizens without exclusions. Bridging the cultural gap that still today separates the Islamic world from the We- stern one can start from the experience of the Christian Arabs. This is a summary of the objective con- tained in these reflections, hoping that differences will finally be transformed into opportunities for mutual enrichment.

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy MjQwMTE=