Al-Azhar on Thursday urged Christians in the Arab world to stand firm in the face of ‘jihadist’ violence and not flee into exile.
“We condemn the forced exile of Christians and other religious or ethnic groups,” the Cairo conference organized by Al-Azhar said in a final statement.
“We urge Christians to stay rooted in their homelands and to weather this wave of terrorism we all are suffering.”
Accusing extremist militants of distorting the meaning of jihad, the statement said it is really one of “self-defence or repelling aggression and should not be left to a single individual or group to declare.”
“All armed groups and sectarian militias who use violence and terrorism… have no relationship with true Islam,” it said.