Message for Ramadan encourages working together for world peace

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Message for Ramadan encourages working together for world peace"Let us join in extinguishing the fires of hatred, violence and war, and instead light the gentle candle of peace." These words underscore the appeal of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue in its Message for the Month of Ramadan and ‘Id Al-Fitr to our Muslim brothers and sisters. The message calls on Christians as well to work together for peace, the respect and protection of human life.

The increasing number of conflicts in the world has led the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue to focus once again on the theme of working for peace in its annual Message for the Month of Ramadan and 'Id Al-Fitr addressed to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Alarming rise in conflicts

The Message of "closeness and friendship" came out on Friday 15 March and features an appeal to both Christians and Muslims to "extinguish the fire of war and light the candle of peace." The premise underlying the text comes from the observation of the "truly alarming" increase in conflicts: from military combat to armed clashes of varying intensity involving states, organized crime, armed gangs and civilians.

Some rejoice in the "immoral" arms trade

The text dwells on the causes of conflicts by identifying the continued production and trade of arms as the main motive, which is accompanied by the "perennial human desire for domination, geo-political ambitions and economic interests." While there are those who suffer "grievously from the devastating effects," it notes, there are those who "cynically rejoice in the great economic profit deriving from this immoral commerce," it punctuates by quoting what Pope Francis has described this "as dipping a morsel of bread in the blood of our brother."

In war, everyone loses

The Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, and the Secretary, Msgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage, who signed the message, underscore on the other hand that "the desire for peace and security is profoundly rooted in the soul of every person of good will." They note that destruction of infrastructure and property makes life hopelessly difficult, if not impossible." They highlight the troubling plight of those displaced and refugees due to wars and reiterate unequivocally, "every war is fratricide, useless, senseless, and dark. In war, everyone loses."

Forming consciences to respect life

The message for Ramadan recalls that all religions consider human life sacred and therefore worthy of respect and protection. It also welcomes the fact that the number of states that have the death penalty are reducing in number year by year. "A reawakened sense of the respect for this fundamental dignity of the gift of life will contribute to the conviction that war must be rejected and peace cherished." Hence there is an appeal that consciences be formed "to respect the absolute value of the life of each person and his or her right to physical integrity, security and a dignified life." This way forward will contribute to "the condemnation and rejection of war, any war and all wars."

United to extinguish the fire of hatred

The message concludes with an exhortation to look to the Almighty as the God of peace, the source of peace, and while peace is a divine gift, it is also the fruit of human efforts. It must be established and preserved.

The message emphasizes, "Let us join in extinguishing the fires of hatred, violence and war, and instead light the gentle candle of peace, drawing upon resources for peace that are present in our rich human and religious traditions."

In conclusion, the messsage encourages that, "May your fasting and other pious practices during Ramadan and the celebration of ‘Id al-Fitr that concludes it, bring you abundant fruits of peace, hope and joy."

Antonella Palermo
Source: vaticannews.va/en