Press Shia – The chairman of Iran’s Islamic Seminaries has offered congratulations to Pope Francis on the occasion of New Year, proposing interfaith dialog and cooperation.

Press Shia Agency – In a congratulatory letter on Tuesday to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Alireza A’rafi felicitated the Holy See on the “glorious occasion of the birthday celebration of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the New Year.”


“I use this opportunity to extend warmly hands of friendship and cooperation, requesting your Excellency’s endeavors of justice seeking and, significantly, inter-religious dialog,” the letter read.


A’rafi also chairs al-Mustafa International University in the religiously-significant city of Qom in north-central Iran.


The Islamic Seminaries of Iran and the academic religious institute are two of the world’s major Shia organizations.


He added, “Emphasizing the pivotal role of religion, spirituality, and rationality in resolving the contemporary problems of humanity, and to pave the grounds for global peace and justice, I declare the readiness of these two organizations for further sincere reciprocal and interactive ties and interfaith dialog.”


The epistle also wished the world’s Christians success in “promoting the mission of Divine Prophets.”