A message from His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the end of Ramadan follows:
To all our brothers and sisters in the global Muslim community.
We address you from the Center of Orthodox Christianity, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which resides in Istanbul for almost two millennia. From this holy and historical place, we take the opportunity of the conclusion of the month-long fast of Ramadan to express our fervent blessings and heartfelt wishes to our brothers and sisters in the Islamic religion all over the world, as you mark the Breaking of the Fast with a celebration of joy, love and hope. Just as fasting, one of the Five great Pillars of Islam, is a solemn practice common to all Abrahamic religions, as a reminder of our absolute dependence on God, feasting is a sacred tradition of all faiths, as a recognition of our reliance on one another.
How wonderful it is that the vital element of food brings everyone together in the blessed act of sharing the common table. Food becomes a source of spirituality and a cause of festivity. It brings us closer to our Muslim brothers and sisters in every country and every continent. It connects us as religious leaders and devout believers, as men and women, and as young and old. In fact, food is a basic need for everyone, including the rich and poor, the filled and hungry, as well as the settled and refugee. Food is equally substantial for those who are safe and those who suffer, for those who rejoice and those who mourn. And, above all, it unites all people, irrespective of their religious conviction, because there is no distinction among humans before God.
However, beyond food and fasting, there are other fields in which we can and we must find common parameters and benign aspects of our human nature. Love, philanthropy-mercy and righteousness constitute fertile soil for the peaceful coexistence and the cultural cooperation of us all. We vividly recall the Old Testament verse: “mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps 85:10), and we realize anew how necessary these notions are in our contemporary world.
It is the magnitude of this reality and the magnificence of God’s love that call us to share with you the festal joy and to congratulate you for the fast and feast of Ramadan. May that same God bring peace to all peoples and prosperity to the world.
On May 12, 2021
+ B A R T H O L O M E W
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch