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Archbishop's Eid message for 2008

Wednesday 1st October 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has sent his greetings to Muslim communities for the festival of Eid ul Fitr, marking the end of Ramadhan.

The Archbishop's greeting celebrates the many positive examples of Christian Muslim encounter and engagement with the wider common good in the past year. He looks forward in the year ahead to further opportunities for "opening doors into a renewed future which is the constant task for all people of faith".

The full text of the greeting is below:

To Muslim friends and co workers in the Common Good

It is a great pleasure once again to be able to send my warm greetings to friends and colleagues of the Muslim communities on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr and to wish you the joy of celebrating the breaking of the fast.

The celebration of Eid provides opportunities for putting the past behind and for opening doors into a renewed future which is a constant task for all people of faith. There are aspects of our society's attitude to religious faith and practice which need to be addressed; and there are matters relating to religious freedom in some countries of Islamic governance that need to be challenged.  Christianity and Islam can do much, together with other religions, to encourage an openness to a better future for all in these and many other respects.

A strong sign of such future possibilities was the prominent public witness in London this July of the Muslim and other communities of faith in support of the Millennium Development Goals; the growing collaboration of Muslim Aid, Muslim Relief and Christian Aid is another.

Furthermore, the co-operative working of our faithful, and of our scholars and religious leaders in the past year has also been notable in the work of the Christian Muslim Forum in this country; in the international discussions prompted by the Common Word initiative; in the dialogue meetings sponsored by the King of Saudi Arabia; in the continuing study and friendship within the Building Bridges Seminars; and in our ongoing encounters with the leadership of Al Azhar al Sharif. I rejoice in these signs of hope.

I look forward in the year ahead to pursuing together the many opportunities that are open to us to change for the better some of the perceptions that have clouded the understanding of religion in general and of Christianity and Islam in particular.  

In the meantime I send you my congratulations on a faithful completion of Ramadhan, my wishes for a joyful celebration of Eid and my hopes for a just and peaceful year ahead.

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