Iraqi Christians greet Muslims before Ramadan

“We need signs of dialogue in Iraq, otherwise, all is lost”. This is what the Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr. Louis Sako maintains, as he explains his initiative to AsiaNews which invites the Christian faithful of his diocese to unite themselves in prayer to their “Muslim brothers” in Iraq, during Ramadan, Islam’s holy month.

The prelate – who yesterday issued a copy of his greetings in Arabic ahead of the holy month to local media – refers that the diocese has published a calendar of Ramadan rites and has distributed it to over 3 thousand families in the city”. He is also bent on organising a dinner for the city’s religious leaders.

The holy month begins this year on September 13 and ends on October 12th. During this period – Msgr. Sako has invited “to respect the feelings of Muslim citizens not to eat and to drink publicly during this month and not to ware indecent dress, and to join them in praying for the unity, stability, and the safeguard the lives and dignity of Iraqis”. “Ramadan – continues his message – is a special time of prayer and progress in virtue, reconciliation and forgiveness, compassion and peace, for the benefit of all Iraqis. It is a month in which we take patience and strength to realize a society of love, harmony, truth and justice, and the actual cloud of violence can end, heal our wounds, realize our hopes of living in security, freedom and joy..”.

Meanwhile the government is preparing for the month long observance, chief among feasts in the Muslim religion. For the entire month the Baghdad curfew will be reduced. According to the spokesperson for security in the Capital the curfew will be pushed back from 23 hundred hours (11:00 pm) to midnight and will be imposed until 5 in the morning. In this period, vehicles will not be allow to cross the main bridges linking the east and west of the city across the Tigris river.