Vatican wishes Muslims ‘a peaceful and fruitful Ramadan’

ROME – The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue wished all Muslim “brothers and sisters” around the world a peaceful and fruitful Ramadan Friday.

The message, signed by Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Monsignor Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage, Secretary of the Council, focuses on Christians and Muslims sharing joys and sorrows together.

“As a sign of our common humanity and the brotherhood that flows from it, we wish you a peaceful and fruitful Ramadan and a joyful celebration of ‘Ed al-Fitr,” reads the text, dated February 18 but published by the Vatican on April 8th.

Shared concerns mentioned in the message include “the death of someone close to us, the illness of a family member, the loss of a job, the failure of a project or business, a crisis in the family sometimes leads to its division.”

It is clear that we need the closeness and solidarity of our friends more in times of crisis and sadness than in times of joy and peace.

The text places special emphasis on the coronavirus pandemic that has “taken the lives of millions of people around the world, including our family members.”

“Others got sick and were cured, but they suffered from the effects of the virus for a long time,” it says. “As you celebrate the month of Ramadan which ends with ‘Eid al-Fitr, our thoughts turn in gratitude to Almighty God who has protected us all in His providence. We also pray for the dead and sick with sadness and hope.”

“The poverty and precarious situation that many people find themselves in due to job losses and the economic and social problems related to the pandemic make our duty to share even more urgent,” she adds.

Among the many joys shared by Christians and Muslims are “the birth of a child, the healing from an illness, success in study, work or business, the safe return from a journey, and certainly other occasions.”

“There is also a special joy for believers: the celebration of major religious festivals,” the message said. “When we visit or congratulate our friends and neighbors of other religions on these occasions, we share their joy in celebrating their festival without having to make the religious dimension of the celebration our own.”

The text also underscores the importance of empathy as a condition for “sharing occasions and sentiments on the occasion of important events, both joyful and sad, in the lives of our relatives, friends and neighbors, including those of other religions: their joys become ours, their worries become ours too.”

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