Archbishop of Canterbury's Inter-Faith Seminar Cancelled

May 21, 2007

Author: George Conger

Source: Religious Intelligence

A CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM interfaith forum in Kuala Lumpur organised by the Archbishop of Canterbury has been cancelled by the Malaysian government out of fear it might provoke sectarian tensions in the Southeast Asian nation.

Scheduled for May 7-11, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Building Bridges seminar was to have brought “internationally known Islamic and Christian scholars together to consider together important issues in the light of our scriptures,” the Rev Canon Guy Wilkinson, Dr Williams’ interfaith advisor, told us.

“We are disappointed that the seminar was not able to take place in Malaysia and was considered inopportune by the government,” he said.

Dr Williams, who was scheduled to attend the meeting, travelled to Kuala Lumpur to consecrate the Bishop of West Malaysia on May 5. After the government cancelled the meeting last month, Lambeth Palace reorganised the Archbishop’s schedule, accepting a long-standing invitation to visit Sri Lanka to meet with church and state leaders.

Organised by Archbishop George Carey as a religious response to the 9/11 terror attacks, the Building Bridges seminars have been held yearly, alternating their venues between majority Muslim and Christian nations: with prior meetings in New York, Washington, London, Qatar and Sarajevo.