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Eid al-Fitr 2014: Archbishop Justin Welby's message

Tuesday 29th July 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has recorded a video message for Eid al-Fitr to wish Muslims in the UK and around the world "Eid Mubarak".

Read the text of the message below: 

Eid Mubarak - a joyful Eid to you all. As I speak, still during Ramadan, people are coming to my home this evening for an Iftar meal. I'm so glad to be able to do that. I've got to know a number of them and certainly one of them has become a friend over the last year, which I treasure and is very special to me. This evening's sharing of the end of the day, the end of the fast, silence, silent prayer, of those first sips of water and some dates - is a fitting celebration of the friendship that we share. 

During Lent, on days of fasting, this friend came and joined me here and we feasted in another way - by sharing each other's scriptures and seeking to understand from each other what drove our faith, what was so special. And this will be happening all over this country. And it is happening in peace, and in security, and that is such a treasure to relish and be grateful for as well. 

But we know from the news that that is not the same all round the world. In many places the Iftar meal will be snatched and hurried, fearful, dangerous even, in the midst of war, in the midst of threat. Our prayers are daily with those of all faiths who are menaced by war, by kidnap, by violence, by suffering, by poverty. And that makes me appreciate all the more the way that in this country we do manage to work together and are learning to live together, and to build a country of greater promise, through our joint efforts together. 

There are difficulties of course. We've struggled over the last few weeks through all the news of the so-called Trojan Horse affair. And that raises some of the issues that we've got to deal with together - not in opposition, but listening to each other and working out what it means to be a community of communities in this country. A single community joined by our loyalty to one another, to the country in which we live, to its values, to the wonderful things we get from it - but also to be, in reality and with integrity, our own communities, enjoying all the richness that comes from our history. There is much to be learned, much to be discussed. We have to work hard together.  

But this evening we come in this demanding month of Ramadan, in this demanding time of fasting and self-examination, to have the privilege of being together, to break fast at the end of the day. 

This evening's event is centred around the work of the Christian Muslim Forum, a group of which I have the extraordinary privilege to be one of the patrons. It's a very interesting and stimulating group that I've found hugely valuable in my first year and a half in this role. 

Apart from anything else I do hope you will think of supporting them, so that they can grow in their work and develop what they do. And I'm grateful to them for coming here this evening and for the opportunity that we'll have to share together in fellowship and friendship. 

And so once again, a very joyful Eid to you all.



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