United Nations: The Secretary General of United Nations, António Guterres, has called for people of faith worldwide to “join their voices in a common prayer for peace”, as the holy festivals of Ramadan, Easter and Passover coincide this week.
“I think this is the moment for us to be all united for peace. Peace is the most precious thing that we can have in the world”, Guterres said.
The UN Chief issued his plea for peace acknowledging that it is “dramatically lacking” in many parts of the world, during an interview with UN News’s Arabic service on Wednesday, ahead of his visit to Somali next week as part of the UN chief's annual tradition of visiting a Muslim-majority country during Ramadan.
Guterres said joining Muslims as they fast during Islam's holy month of Ramadan showed him “the true face of Islam.”
“The sense of peace, the sense of solidarity, the sense of generosity that I witnessed in the communities hosting refugees, and also the resilience, the courage of the refugees themselves was extremely inspiring,” he said.
He said his annual visit to refugee camps or settlements as UNHCR Chief, where he fasted in solidarity, also provided an opportunity to highlight the generosity being shown by host communities.
“When I became Secretary-General, I thought that this tradition should be maintained - now, not focused on refugee communities, but focused on the Muslim communities that are suffering”, he said.
To mark what is a special time on the spiritual calendar for the Abrahamic faiths - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - representatives from the world's major religions, as well as the non-religious, will gather on Friday at UN Headquarters in New York, to pray for peace.
The idea behind the 15 minute moment of contemplation, is to deliver a critical message about peace at a time of so much conflict and suffering worldwide.
The ongoing month of Ramadan is holy for Muslims around the world who fast for 30 days from dawn to dusk.
Besides many virtues, the month is also remembered for its association with Quran. According to Islamic Faith, Holy Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the month of Ramadan.
Easter, also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD.
The day will be observed this Sunday i.e. April 9, 2023.
On the other hand, Good Friday, which is coinciding with April 7 this year, is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary.
It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum.
It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday, and Black Friday.
Passover is a major Jewish holiday that celebrates the Biblical story of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt.
Pesach starts on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan which is considered the first month of the Hebrew year and ends on 21st. Passover will be celebrated this year from April 5 to 13, 2023.
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