MINNESOTA – Several Minnesota churches have put signs reading “Blessed Ramadan” in front of their buildings, sharing the holy month’s celebration with their Muslim neighbors.
“In Minnesota, there has been a significant amount of Islamophobia, and yet that is not who we are in Minnesota,” said Jerad Morey, program and communications director for the Minnesota Council of Churches, Religious News Service reported on Monday, June 6.
“We are a welcoming, caring, respectful community.”
The Blessed Ramadan campaign was organized by the Minnesota Council of Churches, which has 25 members representing a number of denominations and synods across the state.
It includes the Church of God in Christ, the National Baptist Convention, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
By the first day of Ramadan, the council already had distributed close to 1,000 signs and ordered another 1,000. Councils in other states like Kentucky, Ohio, New York and Washington also have promoted the campaign.
The Rev. Jennifer Amy-Dressler of Pilgrim said the Duluth congregation has been intentional in learning more about its Muslim neighbors.
The signs are also available for download or purchase on the Minnesota Council of Churches website, which read: “To our Muslim neighbors / Blessed Ramadan / blessedramadan.org.”
“We wanted to make sure we were putting out a positive message,” Amy-Dressler said.
In addition to creating the signs, the council also is organizing Taking Heart interfaith iftar meals, when Muslims break the day’s Ramadan fast, for the 10th year with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.