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End of Ramadan 2011

Message from the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit to Muslim partners on the occasion of the end of Ramadan.

31 August 2011

on the occasion of Eid al Fitr (end of Ramadan) 1432 H. / 2011 a.D.

Your Eminences,
Your Excellencies,
Dear friends,

On the occasion of the celebration of Eid al Fitr by all Muslim communities all over the world, the World Council of Churches greets you in the spirit of human solidarity. The days of fasting during Ramadan, which Muslims over the world have just concluded, are significant because they demonstrate the intent of the people of faith to engage in a noble act through which they demonstrate acts of solidarity towards the many disadvantaged of our world with whom they share their own gifts of privilege which the Almighty has bestowed upon them.

This year, more than any time before, the Eid al Fitr should prompt Muslims and Christians to act in a spirit of oneness based on our common humanity and spotlight our energies on rallying people to form alliances for peace and reconciliation with justice. This common effort should draw in people from the many great religious traditions of our world.

Historic changes are taking place in several countries and regions of the world where Muslims live. The Middle East and North Africa have particularly experienced momentous events. These significant and life-altering events are shaping new forms of politics and their ripple effects can be felt in all arenas of global society – social, economic, cultural, and religious. As people of faith committed to justice, peace and reconciliation, we should be able to work together in order to preserve the dignity of all peoples, their basic human rights and the rule of law that applies equally to all citizens. In the predicament that we find our world in, we, as people of faith, are obliged to seek and articulate a common vision of a world through human encounters for truth and justice.

We have experienced the terrible reality of terror also in my dear homeland of Norway recently, in the commission of an evil and individual action related to mistrust and stigmatization of Muslims in European society. I am encouraged to see that even in terrible events like this, there is a strengthening of open and trusting relationships between the Christian church and the Muslim community in Norway. We need to stand together to prevent all kinds of terrorism, as we work together to build an inclusive future life based on dialogue and cooperation between Christians and Muslims in all continents.

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that the World Council of Churches (WCC) convened an International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in May of this year in Kingston, Jamaica. The nearly one thousand participants issued a common message. In this message the WCC’s unequivocal commitment to peace and inter-religious dialogue to serve peace is clearly spelled out: "With partners of other faiths, we have recognized that peace is a core value in all religions, and the promise of peace extends to all people regardless of their traditions and commitments. Through intensified inter-religious dialogue we seek common ground with all world religions.”

The World Council of Churches offers you its greetings and prays that this blessed occasion of Eid Al Fitr will give us all an opportunity to journey together to usher in peace in our times.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General secretary
World Council of Churches