From the Worldwide Faith News archives


From Carol Fouke <>
Date Wed, 12 Dec 2001 15:00:29 -0800

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
Contact: NCC/CWS News, 212-870-2227
E-Mail:; Web:


December 12, 2001, NEW YORK CITY - The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General
Secretary of the National Council of Churches, has issued the following
message in anticipation of the end of Ramadan and the beginning of 'Id
al-Fitr, which will be observed on Dec. 16 (Dec. 15 in some communities).

Message to Muslims in the United States
at the End of Ramadan and the Beginning of
'Id al-Fitr 1422 / Advent, 2001

Greetings to you as you complete your fast and prepare to celebrate the
festival of fast breaking.  I pray that, this year especially, your
observance of Ramadan has brought you closer to the One God of us all.

In the wake of the tragic events of September 11th, we as people of faith
have all been deeply affected.  You in the Muslim community have suffered
loss, fear and disorientation along with those of us in the Christian
community.  My prayer is that we all find solace in the presence and mercy
of God, and in each other.

I am keenly aware that Muslims here continue to be the objects of suspicion
and of acts of prejudice and hate in the present climate, despite the fact
that the acts of terror of September 11 have been as clearly condemned by
voices of authority throughout the Muslim community as by our churches.  We
in the churches are taking action to raise concerns about a number of
measures being taken by this U.S. Administration in its domestic response to
terrorism. We need to work together to preserve our country's
vital commitment to the civil rights and liberties of its citizens.

The awful events of September 11 also opened many hearts and minds in our
country; many are now eager to know about neighbors of other faiths, and
about how our lives, our histories and our destinies are interwoven. I am
glad for the many new opportunities for friendship, honest exchange and the
sharing of deep concerns and hopes that I have had with Muslim leaders in
the last months.  The National Council of Churches is steadfast in its
commitment to build relations of integrity, trust and cooperation between
Christians and Muslims in the United States, and is extending its
educational work in this area.  I hope that you in the Muslim community will
help us Christians learn about Islam and the Muslim way of life.

Together, I know we will find ways to increase understanding of each other
and to work cooperatively for justice and peace in neighborhoods and towns
across our nation and around the world.   Let us pray together.  Let us be
seen together.  Together, let us model a new way of being faithful to our
own traditions, and to our common life as citizens of one land and people of
One God.

My deepest prayer -- as yours -- is for peace, and for justice. I wish you
all God's blessings at this time and throughout the year.

Bob Edgar,
General Secretary


Note to Editors: See also:
"Out of the Ashes and Tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001" - NCC General Assembly
Statement, at
"For the Faithful Living of These Days" - NCC General Assembly Statement, at
"NCC Friendship Press Offers Book on Islam" - at
"NCC General Secretary Joins Muslim Iftar, Interfaith Dialogue" - at
"Deny Them Their Victory: A Religious Response to Terrorism" - originally
issued Sept. 12, 2001 - at

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