MINISTRY OF ENDOWMENT
& RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque - Muscat

France

Paris, Association Coexister: 10 -12 October 2014

The experience of the Sultanate of Oman in the field of strengthening of the understanding between the different components of society and interfaith dialogue was analyzed by the Association “Coexister” at its 6th Annual General Meeting held in Paris from 10 to 12 October 2014. The report by French students (aged between 19 and 28 years) and written at the end of a tour of the Sultanate in July 2013 at the invitation of the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, was the central theme of the debate. The students expressed their admiration for multiculturalism, coexistence between people of different faiths and the harmonious daily life within Omani society. All these points are well explained, the students said, in the documentary “The Message of Islam: religious tolerance in Oman” produced under the direction of Wolfgang Ettlich. Although Islam is the state religion, other religions are accepted, respected and protected in Oman, they declared.
Besides the Muslim community, the majority of the population and consisting of Ibadi, Sunnis and Shiites, Oman has 1.8 million foreigners (out of a total population of 3.8 million). Hindus but also Christians and Buddhists come together and freely exercise their religious rites in the country. For Omani, interreligious dialogue is an imperative element and not a luxury in human relationships, said the French youngsters, who met the director of the center “Al Amana”, the Reverend Douglas Leonard, during their visit to Muscat. No incidents were reported in interfaith relations in recent decades, an impressive feat given the difficult situation currently facing the region, declared the French students.Paris, Association Coexister: 10 -12 October 2014

The experience of the Sultanate of Oman in the field of strengthening of the understanding between the different components of society and interfaith dialogue was analyzed by the Association “Coexister” at its 6th Annual General Meeting held in Paris from 10 to 12 October 2014. The report by French students (aged between 19 and 28 years) and written at the end of a tour of the Sultanate in July 2013 at the invitation of the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, was the central theme of the debate. The students expressed their admiration for multiculturalism, coexistence between people of different faiths and the harmonious daily life within Omani society. All these points are well explained, the students said, in the documentary “The Message of Islam: religious tolerance in Oman” produced under the direction of Wolfgang Ettlich. Although Islam is the state religion, other religions are accepted, respected and protected in Oman, they declared.
Besides the Muslim community, the majority of the population and consisting of Ibadi, Sunnis and Shiites, Oman has 1.8 million foreigners (out of a total population of 3.8 million). Hindus but also Christians and Buddhists come together and freely exercise their religious rites in the country. For Omani, interreligious dialogue is an imperative element and not a luxury in human relationships, said the French youngsters, who met the director of the center “Al Amana”, the Reverend Douglas Leonard, during their visit to Muscat. No incidents were reported in interfaith relations in recent decades, an impressive feat given the difficult situation currently facing the region, declared the French students.