The signing of a declaration between a group representing Muslims and a leading Christian body in Norway, which supports the mutual right to convert between faiths without harassment, is the first pact of its type in the world, the two bodies have announced.
The Islamic Council of Norway and the (Lutheran) Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations jointly declared that everyone is free to adopt the religious faith of their choice, at a gathering on 22 August 2007.
"As far as we know, this is the first time that a church and representative national Muslim organization have jointly acknowledged the right to covert," said Olav Fykse Tveit, secretary general of the church council.
He continued: "By issuing this declaration we hope to contribute to the international process on this important matter."
After signing their agreement, the two groups said in a statement: "We denounce and are committed to counteracting all violence, discrimination and harassment inflicted in reaction to a person’s conversion, or desire to convert, from one religion to another, be it in Norway or abroad."