Wishes of blessing and peace

On the occasion of the fasting month of Ramadan, the Catholic bishops sent their wishes of happiness and blessings to the Muslims in Germany. Vatican calls for increased efforts to educate younger generations for peace in face of ongoing armed conflicts.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue put its message for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, released Friday, under the motto "Educating Young Christians and Muslims for Justice and Peace". In it, the president of the Vatican authority, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, congratulated Muslims worldwide in advance of Id-al-Fitr, the breaking of the fast, around 18. August.

Education for justice and peace is "inseparable from truth and freedom," the curia cardinal stressed. Peace is not given only by "absence of acts of war and on the balance of power", warned the former Vatican "Foreign Minister".

Believers must build peace continuously through commitment to "harmonious growth, sustainable development, prevention and resolution of conflicts," according to the Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Christians and Muslims must fight for truth and freedom in order to contribute to a culture of justice, peace and respect for the dignity of every human being. In doing so, they should "not make dubious compromises, take deceptive shortcuts, or use means that lack respect for people.".

Zollitsch calls for united stand against extremists
In a message of greeting published in Bonn on Friday, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch stressed that it was a great need for him to express the solidarity with the Muslims. At the same time, he called for a firm stand against extremists. The president of the German Bishops' Conference stressed "that everywhere in the world, and sometimes also in our country, deluded people and extremists strive to burden the good coexistence of the faithful". He said it is the common task of Muslims and Christians to "always resist them". Christians and Muslims have much in common, Zollitsch stressed. May the fasting month of Ramadan give Muslims the experience of how God changes the world.

Lent is an important break in the year for Muslims, he added. Muslims remembered how much good God has done for people. "The many encounters between Muslims and Christians are also among the events for which we can be heartily grateful."The exchange at work in everyday life, but also the encounter on special occasions and celebrations had deepened and enriched the coexistence between Christians and Muslims.

The fasting month of Ramadan began in Germany on 20. July started. It will be held until 18. August celebrated, on 19. August follows the festival of breaking the fast. Fasting, like the profession of faith, daily prayers, the tax on the poor and the pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the five pillars of Islam. During Ramadan, believers are called upon to abstain from food, drink, smoking and sexual intercourse from sunrise to sunset.

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