The Common Good

U.S. Religious Leaders to Report on Meeting with Iranian Religious Leaders

Date: February 23, 2007

Media contact:

Jack Pannell, 202-745-4614; Colin Mathewson, 202-745-4625; Larry Guenegerich, 717-859-1151 ext. 282

 

U.S. Religious Leaders to Report on Meeting with Iranian Religious Leaders

 Delegation is Scheduled to Meet Iranian President Saturday

 

Washington, D.C. – A delegation of U.S. religious leaders returning from a week-long trip to Iran will hold a Washington, D.C. press conference on Monday, February 26 to brief reporters on their meetings with the Iranian president and Iranian religious leaders. This is the first religious delegation to meet with an Iranian president in Iran since the revolution in 1979.

  • Date: Monday, February 26
  • Time: 9:00 am
  • Location: National Press Club, Peter Zenger Room, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC

The 13-person religious delegation, which included Jeff Carr, Chief Operations Officer of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, traveled to Iran to encourage a dialogue in the hope of averting a war. The group is scheduled to meet with the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Saturday before flying back to Washington.   The religious leaders will brief members of Congress on the result of their trip in the coming weeks. 

In meetings with Christian and Muslim leaders in Iran, the delegation talked about how people in Iran and the U.S. can help reduce the tension between their two countries.  

“I am convinced that the only path for a true and lasting peace with justice will require that we find a way to tell our stories and to have our stories heard,” said Carr.  “Then we must begin to write a new narrative together, one that comes out of humility, mutual respect, and shared understanding. May God help both our nations and peoples to begin the healing and reconciliation process so we may avoid war and build that lasting peace.”

“Interfaith dialogue strengthens our own theology,” said Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana of the National Council of Churches and a member of the U.S. delegation. “This is a new paradigm that has arrived out of many years of engaging in dialogue.”

Delegation members also discussed with government officials the political situation inside Iran, Iranian foreign policy, and Iran’s nuclear energy program. After the visit the group will meet with members of the U.S. Congress, informing them of what the delegation heard from leaders in Iran and suggesting ways to begin lessening current tensions.

In addition to Carr of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, the delegation that visited Iran from February 17-25 included representatives of Mennonite, Quaker, Episcopal, Catholic, and United Methodist churches, as well as the National Council of Churches and Pax Christi in Washington, D.C.

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Sojourners/Call to Renewal is a Christian ministry whose mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit www.sojo.net, www.RedLetterChristians.org, and www.GodsPolitics.com. For more on the Iran delegation, visit www.irandelegation.org.