Christians and Muslims address Climate Change and Sustainable Development as COP27 approaches

Sent On: 
Fri, 2022-10-28
Newsletter Number: 

As COP27 rapidly approaches early next month, religious communities in Egypt are turning their attention in more focused ways toward the environment and sustainable development. On October 15th, the Most Rev. Dr. Sāmī Fawzī, the Anglican Archbishop of Egypt and the Province of Alexandria, invited leaders from Egypt’s Christian communities and al-Azhar to a symposium in order to discuss climate and environmental concerns. Hosted by the newly formed Center of Christian-Muslim Understanding and Partnership, where I also serve as academic director, the event featured open conversation between representatives about the environment, the drafting of an official communique, and the recognition of citizen journalists completing a program focused on the environment. Among other themes and recommendations, the communique expressed the following:


It is clear that the world is facing a growing global environmental crisis. In view of this reality and in recognition of the fact that our beloved Egypt is hosting the 2022 United Nations Climate Conference (COP 27), and as leaders of Egypt’s religious communities, we wish to express our strong support and prayers for the upcoming conference taking place at Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6th - 17th. According to our own traditions, we pray that this conference will be a success and a guiding light for the world as it seeks to understand and respond to the environmental challenges we now face. We congratulate H.E. President ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ al-Sīsī and all Egyptian officials for hosting this historic event.


As religious leaders in Egypt, we are committed to fulfilling God’s commandments for us in which He entrusted all human beings to care for and protect the planet which He perfectly created. Our sacred Christian and Muslim texts call us to put in concrete and practical efforts, and not merely to give symbolic support to these issues.


(Anglican Archbishop Rev. Dr. Sāmī Fawzī, Dr. Naẓīr ʿAyād, Secretary General of the Islamic Research Academy, and Dr. Sāmiḥ Fawzī of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina participate in the symposium.)


The event was covered in English and Arabic news.


On October 17th and 18th, the Dār al-Iftāʾ al-Miṣriyya, the preeminent academic and governmental center for Islamic law in Egypt, hosted a two-day international conference entitled, “Fatwa and the Goals of Sustainable Development,” at al-Masa Hotel and Conference Center in Nasr City.


(Dr. Ḥanān Balkhī of the World Health Organization addresses the Dār al-Iftāʾ conference on sustainable development.)


This year comprised the seventh international conference hosted by the Dār al-Iftāʾ which draws in leading Muslim jurists from around the world to reflect on select themes. Over 90 countries were represented at the conference this year. Several presentations this year made reference to the United Nations’ Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. In the final session, the conference closed with the public presentation of a jurisprudential charter focused on climate change introduced by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (al-Quds), H.E. Muḥammad Ḥusayn. Dialogue Across Borders will publish a translation of this charter in the days to come. The conference was widely covered in English and Arabic media.


As momentum around COP27 continues to grow, we can expect that Muslims and Christians in Egypt will continue engaging with environmental and climate issues. Dialogue Across Borders will continue to highlight these important developments in our coverage.


With best wishes,


October 28, 2022


Matthew Anderson

Executive Editor

Dialogue Across Borders