U.S. faith communities fast for end to Iraq war

Published October 1, 2007

New York
A multi-faith coalition that includes Buddhist, Christian, Islamic and Jewish groups has called on faith communities in the United States to observe a one-day fast in October to protest against the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Organizers say the dawn-to-dusk Oct. 8 fast is intended for U.S. religious communities to “act as catalysts to transform the meaning of the day from one of conquest to community, and from violence to reverence.”

In a statement, organizers asserted, “American culture, society and policy are addicted to violence at home and overseas. In our time, the hope of a decent future is endangered by an unnecessary, morally abhorrent, and disastrous war.”

Ending the war in Iraq, the statement added “can become the first step toward a policy that embodies a deeper, broader sense of generosity and community at home and in the world,” with the fast being a shared spiritual discipline in a number of religious traditions.

The organizers explain that the event is scheduled for October because different faith traditions, in “an unusual convergence” share a “season of sacred self-assessment and self-transformation.”

The holy season includes the month of Ramadan and the Night of Power (Islam), the High Holy Days and Sukkot (Judaism), the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi and World Communion Sunday (Christianity), and Pavarana/ Sangha Day (Buddhism).

Groups calling for the fast include the American Friends’ Service Committee, the National Council of Churches, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Episcopal (Anglican) Peace Fellowship, Pax Christi USA, and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.


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