LONDON - Representatives of several of the UK’s largest Christian denominations today symbolically delivered Eid greetings (marking the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan) to the entire British Muslim community.
A first of its kind, the handover of the printed and framed “Eid Mubarak” message took place at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, east London. It was witnessed by the director of the adjacent East London Mosque, Dilowar Khan and was organised by the Christian Muslim Forum (the UK’s largest network of Christians and Muslims), whose patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Eid greetings read:
The Christian churches send greetings of peace and prayers for God’s blessing on our Muslim neighbours on the occasion of ‘Id ul-Fitr (Eid). We recognise this as a day of good news and celebration – the fast has been completed and the feast begins!
We have been encouraged by two key initiatives this Ramadan – The Big Iftar and Channel 4’s Ramadan Season. These have enabled many people to experience the hospitality of UK Muslims in mosques around the country as well as raising awareness positively of the meaning of Ramadan.
As representatives of the main Christian traditions in the UK we assure you of our goodwill towards you, and our commitment to peace and justice in the society that we share together. Aware of the recent attacks on mosques and Muslims, we want to stand with you against any discrimination or violence targeting any community or person because of their faith. Instead, we want to work for more positive interaction between Christians and Muslims, demonstrating the love for God and neighbour to which we are called.
- The Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain (of the Oecumenical Patriarchate)
- The Baptist Union of Great Britain
- The Church of England
- The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
- The Church in Wales
- The Council of African and Caribbean Churches
- The Mar Thoma Church
- The Methodist Church
- The Moravian Church in Great Britain
- Quakers in Britain
- The Salvation Army
- The United Reformed Church
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Chair of the East London Mosque and former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: ‘I’m very moved by these greetings from our Christian friends. There is much that we can do together to promote peace.’
Julian Bond, Director of the Christian Muslim Forum, said: ‘This was a great opportunity for the Christian churches to come together and extend a hand of friendship to our Muslim neighbours in London and to the whole British Muslim community.’
The Archbishop of Canterbury commented earlier this week in his Eid message about the Christian Muslim Forum’s efforts to encourage deep and long-term relationships. He said: ‘Christians and Muslims have much "in our world and in our history that tries to divide us.”’ But he added: "God is greater!"
- Rt Revd Oluwole Abiola (The Council of African and Caribbean Churches)
- Claire Anderson (Salvation Army)
- Julian Bond (Christian Muslim Forum)
- Ian Bunce (Baptist Union)
- Suzanne Fincham, Divisional Commander (Salvation Army)
- David Henshaw (British Quakers)
- Revd Gareth Hill (Methodist Church)
- Deacon Meliton (Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain)
- Catriona Robertson (London Boroughs Faiths Network)
- Anne van Staveren (Quakers)Zac Varghese (Mar Thoma)
- Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari (East London Mosque and Executive Committee Member, Muslim Council of Britain)
- Dilowar Khan (Director, East London Mosque)
- Salman Farsi (East London Mosque)
- Shaynul Khan (East London Mosque)
Source: The Christian Muslim Forum,