ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Patriarchate responds to the criticism on the invitation to fast for one day together with the Muslims during Ramadan

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 dialogue  


Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The request made by the Chaldean Patriarchate to all Iraqi Christians to unite for a day of fasting practiced by Muslims during Ramadan (see Fides 13/06/2016) has provoked some criticism, also expressed "with innappropriate words" through social network. 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."
The request made by the Chaldean Patriarchate to the faithful and to all the baptized Iraqis, is to fast with Muslims from dawn to sunset on Friday, June 17. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 14/06/2016)