“This year the holy month of Ramadan has coincided with Christian observance of Lent, while Eid al-Fitr coincides with Christian celebrations of Easter,” he wrote. “In this conjunction we, as a worldwide fellowship of Christian churches, feel a special bond with our Muslim sisters and brothers.”
In both traditions, a season of prayer, rigorous penitence and self-examination culminates in a prayerful dawn and a feast of joyous celebration.
“May our prayerful self-reflection ground a sturdy and unflagging hope. Indeed, as we Christians find much to admire in your devotion, so too we find much to celebrate in our shared faith in God and the hope it engenders,” he wrote. “For rarely have both penitence and unwavering hope been needed as much as they are today, when we are all experiencing grief and sadness over the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the unleashing of violence and wars, and the alarming threats to our planet.”