(Sept. 26, 2007) Elgin, IL -- Three Church of the Brethren representatives were among some 140 Christian leaders who met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York this morning, Sept. 26, at the Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations. The event titled "East West Dialogue: An Interfaith Encounter Between North American Religious Leaders and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran: A Time of Dialogue and Prayerful Reflection Among the Children of Abraham," was arranged by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and hosted by the UN office of MCC. The Church of the Brethren General Board was one of 11 endorsing agencies. The Brethren participants were James M. Beckwith, Annual Conference moderator and pastor of Annville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Doris Abdullah, the Church of the Brethren representative to the United Nations and a board member of On Earth Peace; and Phil Jones, director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office. Leaders from all the major Christian denominations were present, Jones said. Groups that also endorsed the meeting included the Mennonite Church USA, American Friends Service Committee, World Council of Churches, Pax Christi, and Sojourners, among others. Intentions for the event were "to build bridges of hope and peace with sisters and brothers around the world," said Stanley J. Noffsinger, general secretary of the General Board. "Our participation as a Living Peace Church will speak clearly to our understanding that it is God's desire for his creation to live together peacefully." The meeting began with the reading of sacred scripture, from the Bible and the Koran, and included a 20-minute address from President Ahmadinejad, responses and questions from a five-member panel, an opportunity for the president to respond, a brief opportunity for questions from the audience, and closing prayers, both Christian and Muslim. Romans 12:18 was read at the beginning of the meeting, and Philippians 4 was read at the closing. Readings from the Koran included Al-Baqarah 285, Al-Nimran 64, and Yunus 31. Opening and closing comments were brought by staff and leaders of MCC and the United Methodist Church. http://www.wfn.org/2007/09/msg00219.html How can Christians read from the koran.