Birth of Christ Celebrated by Muslims and Christians in Tbilisi, Georgia

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On December 25th with an initiative of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia a historic event took place – Muslim clerics from all of Shia and Sunni traditions celebrated the birth of Jesus (Isa) the Christ  with Christians (Baptists and Orthodox) at the Baptist Centre. The culmination of the event was the exchange of gifts:  Muslim clerics gave copies of the Qur’an (Georgian translation)  to Christian Clergy and Christian clergy gave copies of the New Testament to Muslim clergy.
The celebration was led by Dr Malkhaz Songulashvili  (who had just been checked out from the hospital for  his heart condition) and Imam Zurab Tsetskhladze, the head of Georgian Muslim Union.
The support for the celebration was provided  by the Revd Johan Candelin of the First Step (Finland).
The event was international in nature. It was attended by Muslim clergy not only from Georgia but from Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The Event was also attended by the European Union ambassador, H.E. Philip Dimitrov  and a Georgian Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality, Mr Paata Zakareishvili.
The Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia continues its mission for peace and reconciliation in the region.
Please find enclosed photos from the Muslim – Christian celebration of Christmas along with an article from a popular Internet magazine Guria News.

http://gurianews.com/home/2010-11-25-16-58-05/16270-2013-12-26-13-44-06.html

Note: You may also find an article on this encounter on the ABP website.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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