To Muslims throughout the World
It gives me great pleasure to greet you as you celebrate ‘Id al-Fitr’, so concluding the month of Ramadan, dedicated mainly to fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
It is a tradition by now that, on this occasion, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sends you a message of good wishes, together with a proposed theme for common reflection. This year, the first of my Pontificate, I have decided to sign this traditional message myself and to send it to you, dear friends, as an expression of esteem and friendship for all Muslims, especially those who are religious leaders.
As you all know, when the Cardinals elected me as Bishop of Rome and Universal Pastor of the Catholic Church, I chose the name of “Francis”, a very famous saint who loved God and every human being deeply, to the point of being called “universal brother”. He loved, helped and served the needy, the sick and the poor; he also cared greatly for creation. Continue reading “Message of Pope Francis to Muslims Throughout the World for the End of Ramadan (‘Id Al-Fitr)”
Saudi Arabia ranks as the second most difficult place to be a Christian on the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List. Due to the oppressive government, and persecution that is evident through society, the country ranks second only to the totalitarian regime of North Korea. Christ died for all, but many Saudi people do not know Christ – yet!
Today, in Mecca, the holiest Islamic city, the crowds are massive. The faithful have arrived to participate in a Hajj. For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. The Hajj, or pilgrimage, is part of the Five Pillars of Islam. All Muslims, if able, must make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Those, who have and then return back to their homeland, are highly revered in their local communities. Many Muslims see the Hajj as the highlight of their life and believe that it will wash all their sins away. But, there are testimonies from Muslims, who have gone on pilgrimage, with an upright desire to obey God… instead God gave them a vision, telling them that they need Jesus. Continue reading “Open Doors – In The Name of Jesus – The Alpha and Omega”