Jews, Muslims and Catholics from Porto meet to strengthen friendship

Jews, Muslims and Catholics from Porto meet to strengthen friendship

Today, Wednesday, October 11, 2023, in the Jewish Museum of Porto, leaders of the local Jewish community, the president of the Muslim community, Abdul Manga, and Bishop Manuel Linda met to celebrate the peace, harmony and cooperation that is experienced in the city between their respective communities. The meeting was led by the president of the Porto municipal assembly, Sebastião Feyo, representing the Municipality, in place of Mayor Rui Moreira, who was abroad.

On behalf of the Jewish Community of Porto, Michael Rothwell stressed that "Jews do not confuse terrorism with Palestinians, nor do they confuse Palestinians with all Muslims. The excellent relations between the Jewish and Muslim communities of Porto, which have lasted for so many years, must be maintained and even strengthened."

Abdul Mangá, who has presided over the Muslim Community of Porto since its creation more than three decades ago, recalled the deep affection he has for the Jewish community. "Over the years, I have been present, at your invitation, and with emotion, at the most diverse community events, which have included the inauguration of two museums and your cemetery." Manga also said that, "as a representative in Porto of one of the Abrahamic religions", he feels "an infinite sadness with the suffering of the victims".

Bishop Manuel Linda made a point of mentioning that "I had scheduled for today a program that could not be postponed, but that the invitation to be present at the meeting became even more unpostponable, in view of the tragedy that we are witnessing in the land of Israel". He added that he hoped that "the union between all of us, Catholics, Muslims and Jews, will overcome all the traumas that the present war has already caused and will probably continue to cause."

On behalf of the municipality, Sebastião Feyo, former Rector of the University of Porto, and who today heads the municipal assembly, stressed that "the hallmark of the city is the peaceful coexistence of cultures and religions" and that the City  "obviously wanted to be present at this very special meeting between different Porto communities, held at the time of an indescribable tragedy."

The meeting lasted an hour and thirty minutes. The representatives of the three religious communities have declared that the situation in the Middle East must never turn into a war between Jews and Muslims.