Vatican’s Call To Muslims On Eid: From Competition to Collaboration

Vatican’s Call To Muslims On Eid: From Competition to Collaboration June 15, 2018

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID) released a message on Friday greeting the world’s Muslims on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr to mark the end of month of Ramadan. It also provides guiding principles for meaningful Christian-Muslim dialogue to improve relations between the world’s two largest religious groups.

Eid Al Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims rejoice in a gesture of giving thanks to the Almighty for all the blessings. The Vatican letter emphasizes the need to highlight the similarities between the two great faith traditions, as well as respect the differences: the two pillars of any interfaith dialogue. (In the letter ‘Eid’ is spelled ‘Id’).

We all have the right and the duty to witness to the All-Powerful One we worship, and to share our beliefs with others, while respecting their religion and religious sentiments…… To prevent and overcome these negative consequences, it is important that we Christians and Muslims recall the religious and moral values that we share, while acknowledging our differences. ….

This call to draw upon the commonalities and acting in a civil manner is not only in line with the Christian teaching but is also completely consistent with the teachings of the Qur’an’s call for the interfaith dialogue.

And argue not with the People of the Book except in the best manner, unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); and say: We believe in that which has been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we submit. 29:46

The appeal correctly points out that the tensions, sometimes resulting in violence, only brings bad name to the religion. Though not mentioned in the letter specifically, but it implies that such behavior serves only one purpose: it drives people away from the religion.

Such inter-religious competition wounds the image of religions and their followers, and it fosters the view that religions are not sources of peace, but of tension and violence.

Another great guide for Muslim-Christian relations came from none other than Prophet Muhammad’s covenant to the monks of St. Catherine’s church which I addressed on one my prior posts.

Here is the full text of the letter that can also be found at the Vatican’s website at: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2018-05/vatican-dicastery-message-ramadan-competition-collaboration.html

Feel free to distribute it to your communities to hopefully foster further dialogue between Christians and Muslims that is so badly needed in the current environment.

 

PONTIFICAL COUNCIL

FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

Christians and Muslims:

From Competition to Collaboration

MESSAGE FOR THE MONTH OF RAMADAN AND ‘ID Al-FITR

1439 H. / 2018 A.D.

Vatican City

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

In his Providence, God the Almighty has granted you the opportunity to observe anew the fasting of Ramadan and to celebrate ‘Id al-Fitr.

The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue appreciates the importance of this month and the great effort by the Muslims throughout the world to fast, pray and share the Almighty’s gifts with the poor.

Mindful of the gifts prompted by Ramadan, we join you in thanking the Merciful God for his benevolence and generosity, and we extend to you our heartfelt best wishes.

The thoughts we would like to share with you on this occasion, dear Muslim brothers and sisters, concern a vital aspect of relations between Christians and Muslims: the need to move from competition to collaboration.

A spirit of competition has too often marked past relations between Christians and Muslims, the negative consequences of which are evident: jealousy, recriminations and tensions. In some cases, these have led to violent confrontations, especially where religion has been instrumentalized, above all due to self-interest and political motives.

Such inter-religious competition wounds the image of religions and their followers, and it fosters the view that religions are not sources of peace, but of tension and violence.

To prevent and overcome these negative consequences, it is important that we Christians and Muslims recall the religious and moral values that we share, while acknowledging our differences. By recognizing what we hold in common and by showing respect for our legitimate differences, we can more firmly establish a solid foundation for peaceful relations, moving from competition and confrontation to an effective cooperation for the common good. This particularly assists those most in need, and allows us to offer a credible witness to the Almighty’s love for the whole of humanity.

We all have the right and the duty to witness to the All-Powerful One we worship, and to share our beliefs with others, while respecting their religion and religious sentiments.

So that we may further peaceful and fraternal relations, let us work together and honor each another. In this way we will give glory to the Almighty and promote harmony in society, which is becoming increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural.  We conclude by renewing our best wishes for a fruitful fast and a joyful ‘Id, and assure you of our solidarity in prayer.

Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, President

Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.I., Secretary,

From the Vatican, 20 April 2018

 

 

 

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