PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
MESSAGE FOR THE MONTH OF RAMADAN
AND ‘Id al-Fitr1436 H. / 2015 a.d.
Christians and Muslims:
Together to counter violence
perpetrated in the name of religion
Dear Muslim brothers and sisters,
1. I am pleased to send you, in the name of all the Catholics
around the world and in my name as well, best wishes for a
peaceful and joyful celebration of ‘Id al-Fitr. You
exercise during the month of Ramadan many religious and social
practices, like fasting, prayer, almsgiving, help to the poor,
visits to family members and to friends.
I hope and pray that the fruits of these good deeds may enrich
2. For some of you and also for others from other religious
communities, the joy of the feast is shadowed by the memory of
the dear ones who lost their life or goods, or suffered
physically, mentally and even spiritually because of violence.
Ethnic and religious communities in a number of countries of the
world went through various and enormous unjust sufferings:
killing of some of their members, destruction of their religious
and cultural heritages, forced emigration from their homes and
cities, molestation and raping of their women, enslavement of
some of their members, trafficking of persons, commerce of
organs, and even selling of cadavers!
3. We are all aware of the gravity of these crimes in
themselves. However, what makes them even more heinous is the
tentative of justifying them in the name of religion. It is a
clear manifestation of instrumentalising religion for gaining
power and richness.
4. Needless to say that those who have the responsibility of
security and public order have also the duty to protect their
people and their properties from the blind violence of the
Besides, there is also the responsibility of those who have the
task of education: families, schools, curricula, religious
leaders, religious discourse, and media. Violence and terrorism
are first conceived in the mind of the deviated persons,
thereafter perpetrated on the ground.
5. All those are involved in the education of the youth and in
the various educational spaces should teach the sacred character
of life and the derived dignity of every person, regardless of
his or her ethnicity, religion, culture, social position and
political choice. There is no life that is more precious than
another one because it belongs to a specific race or religion.
Therefore, no one can kill. No one can kill in the name of God;
this would be a double crime: against God and the very person.
6. There cannot be any ambiguity in education. The future of a
person, community and of the whole humanity cannot be built on
such ambiguity or apparent truth. Christians and Muslims,
according to their respective religious tradition, look at God
and relate with Him as being the Truth. Our life and behavior as
believers should reflect such conviction.
7. According to
Saint John Paul II,
Christians and Muslims have “the privilege of prayer” (Address
to Muslim Religious Leaders,
Kaduna, Nigeria, 14 February 1982).
Our prayer is much needed: for justice, for peace and security
in the world; for those who have deviated from the true path of
life and commit violence in the name of religion, so as to
return to God and change life; for the poor and the sick.
8. Our feasts, among others, nourish in us hope for the present
and the future. It is with hope that we look at the future of
humanity, especially when we do our best to make our legitimate
dreams become a reality.
we wish you that the fruits of Ramadan and the joy of ‘Id al-Fitr
may bring about peace and prosperity, enhancing your human and
Happy Feast to you all!
From the Vatican, 12 June 2015
Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran
Father Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.I.