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PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE MESSAGE FOR THE END OF RAMADAN ‘Id al-Fitr 1435 H. / 2014 A.D. Towards a Genuine Fraternity between Christians and Muslims

 

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

It gives us great joy to offer you our heartfelt congratulations and good wishes on the occasion of 'Id al-Fitr at the conclusion of Ramadan, a month dedicated to fasting, prayer and helping the poor.

Last year, the first year of his ministry, Pope Francis personally signed the Message addressed to you on the occasion of ‘Id al-Fitr. On another occasion, he also called you "our brothers and sisters" (Angelus, 11 August 2013). We all can recognize the full significance of these words. In fact, Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters in the one human family, created by the One God.

Let us recall what Pope John Paul II said to Muslim religious leaders in 1982: "All of us, Christians and Muslims, live under the sun of the one merciful God. We both believe in one God who is the creator of man. We acclaim God's sovereignty and we defend man's dignity as God's servant. We adore God and profess total submission to him. Thus, in a true sense, we can call one another brothers and sisters in faith in the one God." (Kaduna, Nigeria, 14 February 1982).

We thank the Almighty for what we have in common, while remaining aware of our differences. We perceive the importance of promoting a fruitful dialogue built upon mutual respect and friendship. Inspired by our shared values and strengthened by our sentiments of genuine fraternity, we are called to work together for justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person. We feel responsible in a particular way for those most in need: the poor, the sick, orphans, immigrants, victims of human trafficking, and those suffering from any kind of addiction.

As we know, our contemporary world faces grave challenges which call for solidarity on the part of all people of good will. These include threats to the environment, the crisis of the global economy and high levels of unemployment particularly among young people. Such situations give rise to a sense of vulnerability and a lack of hope for the future. Let us also not forget the problems faced by so many families which have been separated, leaving behind loved ones and often small children.

Let us work together, then, to build bridges of peace and promote reconciliation especially in areas where Muslims and Christians together suffer the horror of war.

May our friendship inspire us always to cooperate in facing these many challenges with wisdom and prudence. In this way we will help to diminish tension and conflict, and advance the common good. We will also demonstrate that religions can be a source of harmony for the benefit of society as a whole.

Let us pray that reconciliation, justice, peace and development will remain uppermost among our priorities, for the welfare and good of the whole human family.

Together with Pope Francis, we are happy to send you our cordial best wishes for a joyful celebration and a life of prosperity in peace.

From the Vatican, 24 June 2014

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

President

Father Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ

Secretary

 

 

The holy month of Ramadan comes to an end

The holy month of Ramadan is coming to an end and people are taking to social media to celebrate.

For Muslims around the world this means holidays and big celebrations with family and friends.

The occasion is marked by Eid al-Fitr, the festival of the breaking of the fast, which occurs with the sight of the new moon.

Great emphasis is placed on traditional food after the month-long fasting (which takes place between dawn and sunset) with families sharing large and elaborate meals to celebrate the month's end.

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Pope Francis gets rock star treatment at evangelical church

Pope Francis made his way back to Caserta, less than 48 hours after his first trip there, to meet with his friend Pastor Giovanni Traettino. 
 
But he wasn't the only one looking forward to his visit. Dozens of members from the Pentecostal Church of the Reconciliation greeted Pope Francis very affectionately.
 
During a brief audience at the Church, Traettino led the Pope and his congregation inreciting the Lord's Prayer, together. 
 
After a brief song, Pope Francis addressed the group. He talked to them about God's first commandment to Abraham, to go and walk before Him.
 
POPE FRANCIS 
"I don't understand a Christian who stands still, a Christian who doesn't walk. I don't understand. A Christian should walk forward.”
 
Following his brief audience with the Pentecostal congregation, the group recited the Lord's Prayer again. He then had lunch with the entire group at the Church, before heading back to the Vatican, ending his private visit. 

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Iraqi Muslims back social media campaign against discrimination of Christians

"I am Iraqi, I am Christian.” Several sectors of Iraqi society took up the phrase in support of Christians communities, under persecution from fighters from the Islamic State.
 
ISIS militants marked the homes of Christians in Mosul using this symbol: the Arabic equivalent of "N,” as in Nazarene.  
 
In response, Iraqi users took to sites like Twitter to express their disapproval. Ali, a young man from Mosul, created the hashtag #I_am_Irai_I_am_Christian, which has lit up social media sites.
 
Christians and Muslims alike from Iraq, and around the world, contributed to the campaign, tweeting their own pictures holding up signs with the phrase.
 
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Iraq: jihadists expel monks from historic monastery

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the jihadist group that now controls one-fourth of Syria and 40% of Iraq, stormed a Syrian Catholic monastery on July 20 and expelled the monks.

Mar Benham monastery is located in Bakhdida (Qaraqosh), a largely Christian town of 50,000 located 20 miles from Mosul. The monastery dates from the 4th century, according to an Agence France-Presse report.

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