Assalam Allayikum. God’s Peace be with you.
I’m Deidre Palmer. As President of the Uniting Church in Australia,
I wish all Muslims in Australia and across the world a blessed and holy Ramadan.
As Ramadan begins, I am reminded of the values which we share as Christians and Muslims – peace, love for one another and reconciliation.
This year, in the wake of terrorist attacks in Christchurch, Sri Lanka, California and Burkina Faso naming these values is more important than ever.
Any attack on people of faith is an attack on us all who seek to worship in safety and peace.
Ramadan is an opportunity for the Uniting Church to affirm our long-standing friendship with the Muslim community in Australia.
It is a friendship grounded in mutual respect and our shared desire to build communities where we live in peace and goodwill as neighbours.
To our Muslim brothers and sisters, we thank you for your deep faith modelled in your fasting, your generous hospitality and your kindness to others.
As Christians, we look to the model of Jesus who called us to love our neighbour, to serve others, and to work for justice and peace in our world.
At this critical time, let us work together for a world where we embrace our differences and stand strong, united in our shared humanity, overcoming those voices in politics and the media that have allowed hate, fear and racism to dominate.
This year the Uniting Church will again join with our Muslim friends in hosting a number of Iftar dinners across the country.
The Iftar dinner breaks the fast for Muslims each day in Ramadan. Sharing this meal together is a powerful symbol of friendship and harmony.
Together, may we continue to embody reconciliation, love and peace.
To all our Muslim friends, Ramadan Mubarak.