The Document on Human Fraternity

"Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need."

On February 3-5, 2019, Pope Francis made an historic trip to the United Arab Emirates. During his time there, he had the opportunity to meet with interreligious leaders, particularly Islamic. On February 4, 2019, at an interreligious meeting at the Founder's Memorial in Dubai, he co-signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb. In it, they invite "all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters."

The document was warmly welcomed in the United States by Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago and Catholic Chair of the National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue, and Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton and Chair of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs:

Catholic Chair of National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue and Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Statement on Joint Statement

Inspired by the Document on Human Fraternity, the Higher Committee on Human Fraternity was formed. They continue to work to implement the ideals found in the document among all people of good will, including further documents from events and reflections.

On December 21, 2020, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 4 February as International Day of Human Fraternity. February 4, 2021 marks the first celebration. Pope Francis will be taking part in a virtual celebration of the event with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations, and more. It will be hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. Vatican News announced the event and provided a comprehensive media kit that traces Pope Francis' involvement in this important effort.