Updated: Sep 2, 2019
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Ephesians 4:4-6 (ESV)
A fraternity is a brotherhood. And there is a physical fraternity of all humankind. This is a fraternity that will cease upon death because it is based on flesh. The spiritual fraternity among Christians is eternal but is limited to those to whom God has given the grace of salvation through their faith in Jesus Christ. So Christians alone are members of God's eternal spiritual family. God has made only one way that a person can be saved and that is by fleeing to the refuge found in Christ alone.
An interfaith Committee has been set up to implement the "Document on Human Fraternity" that was signed by Roman Catholic Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque in Egypt, Ahmed el-Tayyeb last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope was severely criticized by many within the Roman Catholic Church for signing a document that states that diversity of religions is "willed by God."
While it is not clear exactly who formed the committee or how the formation came about, the committee has prominent members of the Roman Catholic Church and Sunni Islam. The members of the committee as reported by the Vatican News are; Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Prof Mohamed Hussein Mahrasawi, President of Al-Azhar University; Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, Personal Secretary of Pope Francis; Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, Advisor to the Grand Imam; Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi; Dr Sultan Faisal Al Rumaithi, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders; and Yasser Hareb Al Muhairi, Emirati writer and media personality.
According to the Emirates News Agency, the committee's mission is to develop a framework to ensure the objectives of the global Declaration of Human Fraternity are realized. It will also prepare the necessary plans to implement the document, follow up on its implementation at regional and international levels, and hold meetings with religious leaders, heads of international organisations and others to support and spread the idea behind this historic document.
The higher committee will also urge legislative authorities to adhere to the provisions of the document in national legislation so as to instill the values of mutual respect and coexistence. It will also supervise the Abrahamic Family House. The committee can rope in new members by mutual agreement.
Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif said the formation of the higher committee comes at a time when all peace lovers are required to unite and join the efforts to spread coexistence, brotherhood, and tolerance throughout the world, reported Emirates News Agency in an August 22 report.
The Grand Imam urged the committee members to spread the principles of the “Human Fraternity” document across the world so as to achieve security, coexistence, and peace for everyone, stressing that spreading the principles of the document would contribute to security and stability around the world.
The Declaration has been widely criticized for claiming that a “diversity of religions” is “willed by God,” a statement incompatible with Catholic doctrine. It says: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”