Germany: Osnabrück to become center for Christian-Islamic dialogue

A small city in the German state of Lower Saxony where Christians negotiated to end a religious war in the 1600s should be a centre for Christian-Islamic dialogue today, the state premier told a newspaper on Tuesday.

Premier Christian Wulff said the state should sponsor conferences, academic seminars and training for German-speaking imams in Osnabrück, known as the City of Peace.

"Peace between religions and the orderly relationship between the state and religion is one of the key questions of the 21st century," Wulff, a Christian Democrat, told the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

Wulff said he and the former mayor of Osnabrück, Hans-Jürgen Fip, a Social Democrat, had already discussed the project. Fip helped bring the German Foundation of Peace Research to Osnabrück.

In 1648, Osnabrück was one of the cities where the end to the 30 Years' War – a conflict that started as a fight between Protestants and Catholics – was negotiated.

Wulff said the city helped develop a rubric for religious peace – and a new way of thinking about the relationship between church and state – that could be useful today.

He said Lower Saxony should soon sign a treaty with Muslims similar to similar to treaties signed with the federal state's Protestants in 1955 and with its Catholics in 1965.

Source: The Local (English)

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