Archbishop Justin Welby has spoken of the “joyful” work of building Christian-Muslim relationships in his first annual message to Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
He encouraged the “hard” but also “joyful” work of building “deep and long-lasting relationships” between the two faith communities, which he said he had experienced during his time working in Nigeria.
The Archbishop also praised the work of the Christian Muslim Forum, which he became patron of earlier this year.
Christians and Mulsims have much “in our world and in our history that tries to divide us”, he said. But he added: “God is greater!”
“May God bless you in your time of celebration with family and friends, and may God bless all of us in our work together for a reconciled world,” he said.
Read the Archbishop’s greeting below:
Eid Mubarak! For the first time as Archbishop of Canterbury I wish you warm greetings on this joyful occasion. It has been a privilege over these first few months to get to know more Muslim colleagues, and to see and hear more of the strong network of friendships between our communities.
Reconciliation is a theme that I have returned to often in these months. Jesus Christ calls us to a restored relationship with God and with one another. There is much in our world and in our history that tries to divide us. Negative events, prejudices and fears build walls that are hard to break down.
But God is greater! We, Christians and Muslims, should commit ourselves to draw on God’s strength for the hard, but also joyful work of building deep, long-term relationships with one another. I have personally experienced this joy over many years with Muslim friends in Nigeria, which is a challenging place for Muslims and Christians. I have also seen the efforts made here in the UK by the Christian Muslim Forum in encouraging these deep and long-term relationships.
May God bless you in your time of celebration with family and friends, and may God bless all of us in our work together for a reconciled world.