The Iranian Cultural Center in Beirut, Lebanon, plans to hold a conference titled “Imam Reza (AS), Founder of Dialogue between Islam and Christianity”.
Mohammad Mehdi Shariatmadar, Iran’s cultural attaché in Lebanon, told IQNA that the event had been slated to be held during the ten-day Karamat celebrations (marking the birth anniversaries of Imam Reza (AS) and Hazrat Masoumeh (SA) earlier this month, but was postponed due to tight schedule.
He said the conference will include various programs such as speeches by Muslim and Christian figures.
Shariatmadar noted that before Imam Reza (AS), other Imams had dialogues with non-Muslims, including Jews or heretics but the eighth Imam was the first one to have discussions with Christians.
The reason for that was because other Imams lived in the Arabian Peninsula where few Christians lived but Imam Reza (AS) lived in a place where he had the opportunity to have interactions with Christian scholars, he explained.
He added that some of the Christian scholars attending the dialogues would later embrace Islam.
Shariatmadar went on to say that Lebanon will host the conference as the Arab country has a sizable Christian population who love the Infallible Imams (AS) and because Islam-Christianity dialogue is common in Lebanon.