Geneva, May 12, 2021
2021 Eid Greeting
It is a great joy to convey greetings on behalf of the World Council of Churches to you, our many Muslim colleagues and partners, and to all Muslims around the world, as you observe Eid al-Fitr. Through the month of Ramadan, we have, as always, been impressed by the commitment of Muslims to the discipline of fasting, to remembering the needs of the poor and hungry, and to mutual forgiveness. At this time of deep suffering and uncertainty throughout the world, we pray that God will grant healing and peace to all your communities. In particular, we are presently very concerned about recent developments in Jerusalem, noting the extreme sensitivity of events involving the holy places, and have appealed to all parties to refrain from more violence and provocative actions, in order to avoid further escalation.
Over the last year, we have all experienced serious limitations on our freedom to engage in the public worship that is so central a part of our lives. This has been a severe test for all our communities. We give thanks for all those who have laboured hard to develop vaccines and we pray that the blessings that the vaccines bring may be shared among all the people of the world as swiftly and equitably as possible.
Even more than usual, we have been reminded during this difficult time of the solidarity of all human beings. It has been said that “our life and our death is with our neighbour”; truly, none of our communities can flourish in isolation but only as we open our hearts and minds to each other in friendship, compassion, mutual understanding, and cooperation for the common good.
At the World Council of Churches, we have therefore been glad to produce jointly with our colleagues at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue a recent publication on the theme of Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity. At a time when the coronavirus has crossed boundaries and has affected people irrespective of region and religion, this document recognises the importance of a response that also transcends boundaries and affirms the need for Christians to work with Muslims and those of other religions for the good of all people. We have been deeply encouraged to learn of ways in which this document has inspired practical interreligious solidarity. One good example comes from the Silsilah Dialogue Movement based in Zamboanga City in the Philippines, where a group of Christians and Muslims have been inspired to start a training programme on trauma healing. Another precious example of Christian-Muslim solidarity for the cause of justice and peace in God’s world is the International Centre for Interreligious Peace and Harmony in Kaduna, Nigeria, which we have been honoured to support for some years together with Muslim partners.
In this spirit, we at the World Council of Churches look forward to continuing to serve the needs of all our neighbours in solidarity with you, our Muslim friends. May God help us to work together as peacemakers in the world.
Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary
World Council of Churches