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A woman prays during the holy month of Ramadan in Baghdad in 2019 (CNS/Saba Kareem, Reuters)

The Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue has released its annual message for the Islamic month of Ramadan, urging all religious believers to extinguish “the fires of hatred, violence and war, and instead light the gentle candle of peace”. Source: Vatican News.

The increasing number of conflicts worldwide has led the dicastery to focus on the theme of working for peace in the message addressed to “our Muslim brothers and sisters”.

The message, published on Friday, dwells on the causes of conflicts by identifying the continued production and trade of arms as the main motive, which is accompanied by the “perennial human desire for domination, geo-political ambitions and economic interests”.

While many suffer “grievously from the devastating effects,” it notes, there are also some who “cynically rejoice in the great economic profit deriving from this immoral commerce.” It underscores this point by quoting Pope Francis, who once described this as “dipping a morsel of bread in the blood of our brother.”

Dicastery prefect Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot and secretary Msgr Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage, who signed the message, underscored “the desire for peace and security is profoundly rooted in the soul of every person of good will”.

They note that the destruction of infrastructure and property makes life hopelessly difficult, if not impossible, and highlight the troubling plight of the displaced and refugees forced to flee due to wars. 

The message reiterates that “every war is fratricide, useless, senseless, and dark” and that “in war, everyone loses.” 

It concludes with an exhortation to look to the Almighty as the God of peace, the source of peace, and while peace is a divine gift, it is also the fruit of human efforts. It must be established and preserved. 


Vatican’s message for Ramadan encourages working together for world peace (By Antonella Palermo, Vatican News)


Letter to my Muslim and Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Australia (Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations)