For Christians, Easter falls on April 17th, 2022. For Jews, Passover begins at sunset on Friday, April 15th (Good Friday for Christians). It ends on Saturday, April 23rd at sunset. For Muslims, Ramadan, the nineth month of the Islamic year, is a holy month of prayer, fasting and refection, This year, Ramadan falls at the beginning of April and ends at the beginning of May. It culminates in the celebration of Eid-al-Foitr, "the festival of the breaking of the fast."
The Holy City, Jerusalem is sacred to all three of these great monotheistic faiths. Sadly, the Middle East has long been a source of conflict over land and holy sites. For far too often, Christians, Jews and Muslims have been locked in bitter disputes, spurred by extremists and fanatics on n all sides. Those who consider themselves "true believers" and regard others of a different faith as "infidels" or "apostates" pose the most serious threat to peace.
We are going through a most difficult epoch in world history, the most difficult time since World War II. Humanity faces enormous challenges. We have suffered through more than two years of a nightmarish pandemic. Russia has invaded Ukraine and has violated human rights and cruelly killed innocent civilians. War crimes have been committed. Far right authoritarianism seems to be rising around the globe.
This year, as Christians, Jews and Muslims hold their holy festivals at the same time, the faithful should emphasize their commonality, not their differences. There is so much hatred and suffering in this world. It does not behoove the followers of Christ, Moses and Muhammad to add to this. It is against every major tenet of these three great faiths to contribute to all this anguish and adversity.
Christians, Jews and Muslims are all children of Abraham and they all worship one God. This should never be forgotten. Christians, for their part, should always remember that Jesus was Jewish, This Easter, I wish blessings upon my Jewish and Muslim friends in faith and to all believers and non-believers alike..
UPDATE ON NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, PARIS
On April 5, 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned in a devastating fire, just before Easter, which was celebrated on April 21st that year. It's been more than three years since that fire, I'm pleased to report that the cathedral has been saved and there has been a great deal of progress in restoring this great historical edifice. The good news is that plans are underway to reopen the cathedral in the summer of 2024, just before the Olympics are held in Paris.