MALAYSIA: Building a Bridge Between Christianity and Islam

A bridge is being built between the Christian and Islamic worlds to bring more unity between the two.  And what better place to start this process than Malaysia, one of the most Islamic, and also peaceful, nations in the world? Pope Benedict XVI has recently appointed American Archbishop Joseph Marino, 59, as the first Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia.

An Apostolic Nuncio’s role is to be an ambassador to the country. Marino will be the delegate in Malaysia that represents the Vatican. The Vatican embassy is currently set up in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Relations between Christians and Muslims are moving towards more unity and understanding. The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, visited Rome in July of 2011 to meet with the Pope to build stronger relations between the two religious worlds.

Marino has been a representative for the Pope in Bangladesh for over four years. Bangladesh, similar to Malaysia, is predominantly a Muslim country. Malaysia’s Muslim population is over 60 percent, a very large number in comparison to the under 10 percent of the Christian population.

Marino will be arriving in Malaysia within the coming weeks to begin a process that could change the dynamics of the religious world.  With Marino, there is hope to ease tensions between the religions.

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