African Christians Involvement in Ramadan is “Surprising”

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At the start of this year’s Ramadan, the church of Christ Evangelical Intercessory and Life Intervention Ministry, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State donated 500 bags of assorted grains to Muslims as they prepare for this year’s holy Ramadan fast.

The church revealed that the assorted grains were intended to promote peace, unity, tolerance, love and better understanding among followers of the two faiths.

In a related story, a group of Christian youths have been seen distributing food to Muslims as they observe the breaking of their Ramadan fast in Senegal.

Those who benefited from the largess were mostly people on transit as the Christian youths were seen sharing the food to motorists and passengers.

The is to help them break their fast properly as they may not have a place to eat after fasting and being a long way from their house.

Also, a Christian man in Sohag, Upper Egypt, distributes small meals in Ramadan just before dusk to promote national unity.

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Joseph Gerges has been distributing food in Ramadan for seven years. In the first few years, he distributed dates on streets as Maghreb prayer call approaches, making no difference between Muslim and Christian passersby.

He was met with appreciation and encouragement from donors and people who accept the food from him. In the following years, he began distributing meals, rather than just dates. He was able to donate 2 meals a day, the meals increased to 100 a day.

Last year in Senegal, two Christian associations launched a food distribution initiative for Muslims finding themselves away from home for #Iftar and unable to break their Ramadan fast on time.

In a Dakar courtyard turned into a kitchen, young volunteers are busy. They are preparing food they will share for Iftar, the evening meal eaten by Muslims during the month of Ramadan.

Two Christian groups are in charge of the meal distribution. Marie Cardinale, heads the La Main du Coeur association and she is happy to serve for the second year in a raw.

It was double joy given the fact that Ramadan and Lent, the Christian fasting season, coincide. “Gifting our Muslim and Christian brothers with a meal is more than a gesture, it also conveys a message, it is true that we have different beliefs but it is necessary that we respect each others’ faith”.

The initiative brings together Christians and Muslims. Salma Diallo is involved in another association but it was important for her to come give a hand: “It is the most beautiful thing I can do! In my family, some are Muslims and others Christians, so it is a great joy for me to be here with other Muslims and with Christians. God is the one who unites us and our hearts have become one today”.

In Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory last year, Cardinal John Onaiyekan arrived at the Al-Habibiyah mosque and handed out platters of food to mostly excited young men.

It was reported that almost 2,000 faithful had gathered to perform prayers before breaking their Ramadan fast.

He said: “We are doing our best to spread an attitude of openness because we believe that God does not want his children to kill each other. He wants us to live in peace. So anything we can do to promote peace, we must do”.

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