Ethiopia has been known for having a peaceful co-existence of all religions. During the month of Ramadan, people from different faiths have taken part in Iftar, the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. For Sunnis, it is at the time of the call to prayer for the evening prayer; for Shias, it is after the evening prayer. The fact that Muslims and non-Muslims are coming together to maintain peace and tolerate each other’s religious differences boosts inter-religious harmony, mobilizes their attempt to build a democratic system, and enhances economic growth.
06/07/2017 Ethiopia (All Africa) – Religious observations like Iftar have pivotal roles not only in strengthening mutual respect but also in promoting tolerance, accommodate diversity and uphold harmony among the people, according to religious fathers.
A member of the Ethiopian Ulema, Fatwa and Da’awa Council, Sheikh Mustapha Mohammed told The Ethiopian Herald that the practice creating platforms for peoples of different faiths create better understanding of religions and values they attached to peaceful coexistence.
Sheikh Mustapha stated that the widespread communal religious observations between peoples of different religions is among the contributing factors Ethiopia being a place of religious tolerance in the contrast to religious conflicts that persists around the globe.
He said, “the presence of followers of other religions at the Iftar ceremony shows the huge importance the event has for sustaining the long cherished value of tolerance and mutual coexistence in the society.”
Suleiman Mohammed, 43, was born in Dessie, a town where the followers of both Muslims and non-Muslims live peacefully for ages.
Suleiman said that Iftar is one of the religious festivals that non-Muslim friends and neighbors have been invited by their Muslim brothers.
The fact that people with different faiths taking part in Iftar have significant roles for paving ways for them to exchange views about their livelihoods and maintaining the long lasting culture of accommodating differences, he added.
According to Suleiman, “such religious observations serve as bases to enable people with different religions working together to common agenda of peace and development as well as nation building. They are also platforms to recognize and respect differences and shun radicalized viewpoints.”
Seifu Solomon, a Christian, on his part said that he has been taking part in numerous Iftar ceremonies with his neighbors and friends over many years.
He indicated that such events enable people to realize all religions taught, the need to live in harmony and evils of radicalism. ” Involving in religious observation as of Iftar would help people with different faiths to respect differences. It also have considerable vantages to maintain Ethiopia’s age-old culture of religious tolerance.”
He added that religious observations, besides their religious values, have laid the foundations for peace and coexistence in