26 May 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  •    - Brunei
  •    - Cambodia
  •    - East Timor
  •    - Indonesia
  •    - Laos
  •    - Malaysia
  •    - Myanmar
  •    - Philippines
  •    - Singapore
  •    - Thailand
  •    - Vietnam
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 05/30/2014, 00.00

    IRAN - VATICAN

    Shia scholars translate the Catechism of the Catholic Church in Persian

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Card Jean-Louis Tauran wrote the introduction, and various Catholic officials reviewed the book. It is the work of scholars from the University of Religions and Denominations in Qom, which seeks to know about other religions through their sources. Dialogue and mutual understanding are the path to peace. Christians are in a special situation in Iran. Here is the third part of the report on Iran.

    Qom (AsiaNews) - Shia scholars have translated the Catechism of the Catholic Church into Persian. A group of translators from the University of Religions and Denominations (URD), located just outside of Qom, is behind this major step towards dialogue.

    Under the guidance of Prof Ahmad Reza Meftah (pictured, centre), the translators (Profs Sulemaniye and Ghanbari) completed the work (almost 1,000 pages about theology and pastoral ministry) that is going to be released shortly.

    Evidently, various Catholic officials in Iran checked their translation, which has an introduction by Card Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

    The University of Religions and Denominations, which has about 2,000 students, offers courses in Islamic theology and denominations as well as Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism.

    In order to know more about religions, students and professors study and translate into Persian their basic texts and sources. So far, at least 200 books, including 50 volumes of Christian sources, have been translated.

    Prof Meftah told me what path he followed for the translation of the Catechism. "When we began to study other religions, some of us studied Christianity. We needed an authoritative Christian source to study, for us and for our students. Dr Legenhausen, a Catholic from the United States who teaches in our universities, convinced us that the Catechism is important for Catholics. Therefore, we started to translate it in order to understand better the Catholic faith, both for ourselves and for our science. We have always wanted to study and do research, translating into Persian some Christian books, like the Gospels or The City of God by Augustine."

    "We translated the catechism from the English version, and then compared it to the Arabic version. We wanted to translate it very accurately. This is why we needed that the translation to be somehow confirmed by the Vatican. We gave the book to an Italian Catholic who knows Persian, and had him check it against the original Latin text. It took nine months just for this! He closely compared the versions and gave us some tips. After this, some of our friends revised the translation once more."

    "Last year, we wanted to publish this book and we got in touch with Fr Franco Pirisi (a Salesian who has worked for decades with the Nunciature in Tehran) who helped us have some sort of official confirmation from the Vatican. Fr Pirisi knows Persian very well. After reading the whole book, he gave us an introduction by Card Jean-Louis Tauran, which he translated into Persian. Now the book is ready. It will be released by the university's publishing house but with . . . the Vatican stamp of approval. It was fundamental to ask the nunciature for its permission to publish it, asking them to read it carefully. And they have confirmed our translation."

    It must be said that under Iranian law, every Christian church has the right to use its own language (Armenian, Chaldean, Latin, English, etc.) but not the Persian language, perhaps out of fear of facilitating what the authorities call "proselytising". For this reason, it would have been impossible for the Catholic Church to publish the book in the Persian language.

    "This way," Prof Meftah said, laughing, "we helped the freedom of expression of Christians. It was not our main goal, but one of the outcomes. For us and our students, it was important to know more about Christianity from what Christians say about themselves and not from what others say. Thus, we can remove misunderstandings and ideological schemes as well as foster respect for each other. This is a practical step to boost dialogue between us."

    Prof Meftah has great plans. "In the future we want to present the new book in Rome. If it is possible, we would like to publish the Italian translation of a book on Shiism. This way, we can show dialogue in a very practical way. It is an opportunity to show our openness to dialogue: we are ready to talk with you without restrictions. Moreover, this is probably the first time that a Catholic book of this significance is translated by a group of Muslim scholars. "

    Ahmad Reza Meftah and his colleagues point out that this attitude of openness towards other religions is nothing new. It did not begin with the arrival of President Hassan Rouhani, who is well known for his support for dialogue.

    "We were prepared for dialogue even before president Rouhani," he said, "and we have always tried to take a few steps towards peace between Iran and other countries and religions. With Rouhani's arrival, there may be more opportunities, at least to remove some restrictions and misunderstandings."

    "The relationship between Islam and Christianity in Iran cannot be compared with the situations of other Islamic countries," he explained. Christians in Iran are safe (from attacks) and we can share a common purpose. If we look at each other as friends, we will not have problems. But if we look at each other as enemies, with suspicion or indifference, if we compete, trying to steal something, it will be like in other countries, including terrorism. Treating each other as friends eliminates terrorism, and makes us take steps towards peace."

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    26/01/2016 19:48:00 VATICAN – IRAN
    Pope Francis and Rouhani: for a Christian renewal in the Middle East and Iran’s Islam

    Today's meeting raises hope for regional stability and a stop to the slaughter of Christians, condemned to oblivion at the hands of al Qaeda and Isis, who are also Iran’s enemies. The dialogue between cultures, religions and peoples that began under Khatami, frozen under Ahmadinejad, can now start again. Moderate Islam is also useful to Iranian youth, nauseated by the ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guards. The Catechism and Catholic theologians are available in Persian translations.



    14/05/2014 IRAN
    Iran's Shia Islam open to dialogue with modernity and other religions
    In the holy city of Qom, the shrine dedicated to the sister of the eighth imam is within distance of least 50 theological schools, teeming with tens of thousands of students, seminarians and lay people, and not all Iranian. All schools have well-equipped libraries where works in science, history, philosophy, psychology, and other religions are studied and translated. One example is the University of Religions and Denominations. Here is the second part of the report on Iran.

    16/01/2005 VATICAN
    Migrants: sympathy and dialogue among cultures are urgent, says the Pope
    Tomorrow's Day of Jewish-Christian dialogue is celebrated.

    23/11/2016 13:55:00 VATICAN – IRAN
    Pope thanks a group of Iranian Shia clerics for the show “of good will towards dialogue”

    Francis met in the small room in the Paul VI Hall with participants in a colloquium organised by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation.



    30/04/2008 VATICAN - IRAN
    For Christians and Muslims, faith and reason do not conflict and are nonviolent
    A joint document at the end of the meeting between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Iranian Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation. The participants at the meeting, received in audience today by the pope, affirm that the believers of the two religions "should go beyond tolerance, accepting differences, while remaining aware of commonalities".



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®