The Congregational Church of Batavia, in Chicago,, will open its doors on April 1 to welcome Muslim neighbors to a special Ramadan iftar.
Held since 2017, the event started with a discussion at the Batavia Public Library between Mazher Ahmed of the Batavia Islamic Center and David Foxgrover, the pastor of the Congregational Church at that time.
Later on, the church’s outreach ministry contacted Mazher to hold a community interfaith Iftar at the church.
“For the most part it’s easier to hate someone you don’t know than someone you do know,” a church member told Daily Herald.
“We want people to know that at heart we are all created the same. We share the same concerns, Christian, Muslim or whatever, for our children, for our safety, for our future, for our well-being, and more.”
The evening, attended by Mayor Jeff Shielke, and the police and fire chiefs, begins with prayers after which dates and water are provided for the traditional breaking of the fast.
Guests later get a home-cooked meals provided by Mazher, her husband Hamed, and the Batavia Islamic Center.
As it states on the invitation to the event “We all from different traditions pursue the same goals that of cultivating human goodness and bringing comprehensive understanding, respect for other traditions and happiness to all humans.”
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Ramadan is the holy month of fasting when Muslims avoid all food and drink between sunrise and sunset.
Social and interfaith gatherings for iftar meals have become a basic part of the holy month of Ramadan during which people come together.