Archbishop of Canterbury calls for unity between Muslims and Christians

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SHAFAQNA - Muslims and Christians can be a “blessing and strength” for the UK if they can work together, the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said in his message to Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan and the festival of Eid that he wants to assure them of the Church’s prayers and affection.

Commenting on the monthly fast, which changes dates each year and has been particularly gruelling for Muslims this year because of the long mid-summer days, he said the discipline was a Christian tradition as well one that he practices.

“During this particularly demanding Ramadan with long days and hot weather, you have been greatly on my mind because I know what a pressure it is on you. And yet it’s also such a gift to spend time in prayer; to be reminded by hunger of our call to stay close to God,” he said.

He referred in the YouTube video to the recent visit to Lambeth Palace of the Grand Imam of Al-Alzhar. “In spending time together we were able to discuss our differences, as communities and as individuals. We need to recognise that we differ on crucial points of faith, but that we are united in understanding the importance of faith, and in our commitment to the common good.”

The Archbishop concluded: “I hope and pray that the relationships I have with Muslim leaders, which are frank and open, honest about disagreement but committed to one another as human beings, are relationships that can be echoed in every corner of our country. That is how we will face the challenge of all the different circumstances that affect our communities, and how together we can be a blessing and a strength for this country.”

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