Cairo – This year, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins on the evening of Saturday, April 2, which coincides with the final weeks of Christian Lent, during which Christians prepare for Easter, the feast of Christ’s Resurrection. Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II, in a message of good wishes sent to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi and addressed to all Muslim compatriots, for the beginning of Ramadan, highlights this coincidence, inviting everyone, Christians and Muslims, to treasure this circumstance and to live together these “strong times” marked in the respective spiritual traditions by the pious practices of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
Penitential periods – Pope Tawadros emphasized in his message – are always “blessed times” of healing in the spiritual life of those who, touching their limits and their physical weaknesses especially through the practice of fasting, can recognize that their entire spiritual and material life depends on the free gifts of God’s mercy.
In recent days, the Egyptian media highlight facts and situations in which the time of Ramadan is experienced as an opportunity for sharing and spiritual and material proximity between Muslims and Christians. Events such as that of Abanoub Adel, a young Coptic Christian chef from Cairo who said he always shared the practice of fasting with his fellow Muslim students during Ramadan, also collaborating in the preparation of the decorations displayed along the streets during the Holy Month of Islam, and sharing with their Islamic friends both the charitable initiatives in favor of the poorest families, as well as breakfasts and evening meals to break the fast.