Press Shia Agency – Dragutin Matak of Croatia in his visit of Iran said: “There are so many misunderstandings. But If we have a chance to speak first-hand we can make it work.”
Press Shia – A group of Muslim and Christian religious scholars in Iran on behalf of the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization of Croatia came to Qom yesterday.
The delegation also visited one of the historic libraries in Qom, the Ayatollah Marashi-Najafi Library.
They also had a meeting with Ayatollah Ali-Reza Arafi, the head of the Islamic Seminaries of Iran.
At the end of the meeting, a reporter had a brief interview with two of the Christian guests.
Interviewer: Please first introduce yourself.
Matak: My name is Dragutin Matak. I’m an academic of Adventist theological seminary in Croatia. I’m also the general-secretory of the Religious Liberty Association and I used to be the president of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Croatia.
Interviewer: What was your reason for traveling to Iran?
Matak: Well you see, I have a good friend in Croatia, he is Mufti Aziz Hasanović and he invited me to come to Iran and explained the purpose of our visit is and of course I couldn’t resist.
Because we are very involved in interreligious dialogues in Croatia and we achieved very good results over there. In those bases it was a very good opportunity to come to Iran. Just simply to say what we are doing there.
Interviewer: How was your meeting with the head of seminary in Qom, and How was Iran?
Matak: It was impressive. Actually today our first visit was historic library, the Ayatollah Marashi-Najafi Library, in Qom which was amazing to see so many manuscripts in one place. It was unbelievable. I think here we could have very nice reasonable talks and for me it is like seeing seeds. See, there so many misunderstandings. But If you have a chance to come and to speak with somebody first hand and talk to each other, feel what there are after, it has a great potential.
It is my prayer that the Almighty God helps all these seeds grow and bring good fruits.
Our next interview was with Tomislav Kovač, a Catholic academic in Croatia:
Interviewer: Please explain the reason of your visit to Iran?
Kovač: The reason of our visit to Iran was to approving the relation between the Republic of Croatia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the president of Croatia visited Iran in May with a delegation of 17 people including businessmen and politicians. So a few months later, we wanted to make a new visit but in a spiritual way. Our purpose is to meet the religious leaders of Iran and understand the situation of religious community in Iran, because in Croatia we have a very good relationship with Islamic community and with other communities. We also respect Iranians and Iran a lot.