Iraqi Christians who are joining Muslims in fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan as a sign of peace and solidarity are facing rebuke from other believers.
“In this way we just wanted to propose a Christian gesture: as Christians, we are confident that fasting and prayer, also shared with others, can work miracles, while weapons and military interventions only kill,” Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I told Fides News Agency.
The Patriarch explained that other Christians, though he did not identify who, have taken issue with Christians and Muslims worshiping together in such a way.
Muslims offer prayers before having their Iftar (fast-breaking) meal during the holy month of Ramadan at a madrasa or religious school on the outskirts of Jammu
Raphael I said reactions have been “paradoxical: from outside, some of our Christians who live abroad were shaken and they even criticized us. From many Muslims, however, I received overwhelming gratitude. Yesterday a Muslim woman with the veil came to the office to thank me. She kept saying: we will all be very grateful, because we are all Iraqis.”
Ramadan, which began on June 6 and will end on July 5, commemorates the time when Muslims believe Allah handed the Quran to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
It is also the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which is considered the most sacred in Islamic teachings. Muslims are forbidden to eat or drink from sunrise to sunset during the entire month, in which they must also pray, and practice acts of generosity towards others.