The Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations and the Islamic Council of Norway have published a joint statement that condemns violence in close relationships and within the family.
The joint Muslim-Christian declaration brings into focus the question of family and relationship violence, which has long been a significant social problem in Norway. According to Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations, one in every four women has been exposed to violence in relationships or family.
In the statement Mr. Shoaib Mohammed Sultan, the General Secretary of the Islamic Council of Norway, stated that: “In our capacity as religious communities, we want to contribute positively to the struggle against violence in the family and in close relationships, both by our attitudes and our actions.
“Violence in families and in close relationships is a criminal act which goes against our religious teachings and the human rights. This applies both in Norway and globally,” Mr. Sultan added.
“As members of a society it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent and resist all shapes and shades of violence in the family and in close relationships. As religious leaders it is our special responsibility to strongly condemn any misuse of the teachings of our religions in order to legitimise such violence,” said Fykse Tveit.
The statement comes from dialogue between the two groups—which dates back to 1993. Regular meetings are held where the two religions can openly discuss a range of issues that relate to society and religion. The coalition aims to provide greater understanding between the Muslim and Christian communities and also seeks to promote further contribution from the two religions to the greater community.