The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue released a message greeting the world’s Muslims on the occasion of their fasting month of Ramadan and its conclusion, Id al-Fitr. The Vatican urged Christians and Muslims to move from competition to collaboration, saying the rivalry between them has had negative consequences.  Holy Father Pope Francis also extended his cordial wishes to Muslims worldwide who on Thursday began Ramadan.  He wished that this privileged time of prayer and fasting help in walking the path of God which is of peace.

As reported by Vatican news, the message signed by Council president, His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and Secretary, Bishop His Grace Miguel Ángel Ayuso read, “A spirit of competition has too often marked past relations between Christians and Muslims, the negative consequences of which are evident: jealousy, recriminations and tensions. Further, the Council said, “Such interreligious competition, wounds the image of religions and their followers, and it fosters the view that religions are not sources of peace, but of tension and violence.”

To counter this competition and confrontation, the message called on Christians and Muslims to recognize the religious and moral values they share and respect their legitimate differences in order to bring about an effective cooperation for the common good. The Pontifical Council thus called on both communities to work together and honor each other in order to further peace and fraternal relations and promote harmony in a society which is becoming increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural.