Intentional, structured encounters between Muslims and Christians in which two or more parties express their views and listen respectfully to their counterparts. The dialogue movement began during the 1950s, when the World Council of Churches and the Vatican organized meetings between Christian leaders and other faith representatives. By the 1980s and 1990s other regional and international bodies had developed their own programs: the Muslim World League, the World Muslim Congress, and the Middle East Council of Churches. Obstacles to successful dialogue include Muslim wariness because of the recent history of colonialism and the fact of Western hegemony and Christian perceptions of Islam as inherently threatening.
See also Christianity and Islam; Dhimmi; Minorities: Muslim Minorities in Non-Muslim Societies; Minorities: Non-Muslim Minorities in Muslim Societies