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Chaldean Church Calls for Christians to Fast One Day During Ramadan

Bashar Al-Ba'noon / Flickr CC

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 06/15/16


In the midst of the ongoing conflict raging in Iraq, the Chaldean Church is calling the Christians to fast on Friday 17 June 2016, in solidarity with the fasting Muslims during this month of Ramadan. “We will fast and pray together for peace and stability in our country and the region. We also call our faithful to assist the displaced and affected families in order to promote the culture of love, fraternity and harmonic coexistence.”

This has prompted some criticism, and this response: 

To clarify the true extent of the initiative and unravel possible misunderstanding, the Chaldean Patriarchate, through its official channels, has called the practice of fasting, prayer and penance as ordinary tools with which, from apostolic times, the Churches of the East and all Christian communities over the world express their supplications to the Lord, even before the situations of suffering and war, such as those currently experienced by all the Iraqi people, to ask for the gift of peace. The suggestion to fast with the Muslims – said in a message released by the Chaldean Patriarchate and sent to Agenzia Fides – certainly cannot be perceived as a call “to Christians to convert to Islam or to Muslims to convert to Christianity”. It is only an invitation, it does not imply any obligations, and expresses the gaze nourished by the Gospel before the distressed experienced by the entire Iraqi nation, to arouse feelings of solidarity in front of many citizens who are living the plight of refugees and to share the same attitude compared to the extremist ideologies that threaten national unity itself.In the message, the Chaldean Patriarchate also thanks the many who have joined the initiative, offering proof of one’s “spiritual maturity.”
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