Pakistan: Christians and Muslims share iftar table

A beautiful example to interfaith harmony was witnessed at St Jude’s Church in Hussain D’Silva Town in Karachi, where a joint Iftar for both Muslims and Christians was held last Saturday.

The event was attended and enjoyed by members of the Christian community as well as Muslims along with clergy from neighborhood mosques. Archbishop Benny Travas, the Bishop of Karachi, was the guest of honor on the occasion.

The joint Iftar was the idea of the parish priest of St Jude’s parish Father Mario Rodrigues. He had been planning it for some time now, but the Covid-19 lockdowns and consequent standard operating procedures were constantly coming in the way of his plans. This year, though, he was happy to see it happen finally. “It is the seventh Muslim fast and the 34th Lent fast for us. And we will both break our fasts together at sunset or Maghrib,” Father Mario told Dawn.

Archbishop Benny Travas, the Bishop of Karachi, said that as they broke their fasts together and broke bread together on the same dining table, it felt like they were all a part of one family.

“We fast for 40 days during the Lent season, a time that we also spend looking to strengthen our relationship with God Almighty. We pray to Him and we give charity to the poor. You also spend Ramazan Kareem in fasting, praying and distributing zakat. We are so similar in our religious beliefs and obligations,” he pointed out.

The church also distributed ration bags among the neighborhood poor, including both Muslims and Christians.