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Africa: The Catholic Church’s Message to the Muslim Faithful

Vendor preparing 'aish (bread) for other vendors breaking their fast as 6PM approaches during Ramadam

Vendor preparing ‘aish (bread) for other vendors breaking their fast as 6PM approaches during Ramadam

By Agenzia Fides, October 15, 2013

Rome – The common root in Abraham and the pain caused by the conflicts in some African countries are at the center of two messages sent by important representatives of the Catholic Church in Africa to the Muslim faithful for the feast of Aid El Adha (“feast of sacrifice”), called in some African states “feast of Tabaski”, the most important Muslim feast which commemorates the submission of Ibrahim (Abraham) to God, agreeing to sacrifice his only son.

“We join you, recalling our common faith in the God of Abraham, the father of all believers”, writes the Bishops of Niger in a message to the local Islamic community. The messages, sent to Fides, continue: “We cannot forget that also this year’s feast is a sad feast for many of the faithful, because of the violence and war that severely threaten our world. We know the mountain of misery and tears of millions of human beings who live in insecurity and who are deprived of the essential. It is their sufferings that are pushing us to collaborate, to seek together, as believers, the path of understanding, mutual respect, peace and solidarity here and everywhere”, say the Nigerien Bishops.

In his message to the local Muslim community, Mgr. Claude Rault, Bishop of Laghouat – Ghardaia (Algeria), states that “the feast of Aid El Adha is always an opportunity to express ones bonds of brotherhood in our ancestor Abraham. Remembering that God did not allow the sacrifice of Abraham’s son, Mgr. Raul said that “God is the Creator and Protector of every form of life. It is He who created human beings and does not want their blood to be shed by human hand”.

“In these painful times of conflict, in particular in the Middle East, it is devastating when there is innocent blood of Christians or Muslims because of violence. Those who carry out or support such acts are acting against God and humanity. Often, they think they honor God, but instead they betray him”, said Mgr. Rault.

“In the name of our fraternity, worshipers of the same God, we must continue to fight for the dignity of all human life, but with the peaceful weapons of dialogue, prayer and mercy”, the message concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/10/2013)

Photo credit: jay galvin via Photopin, CC

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