German CG hosts Iftar to emphasise need for peace and mutual understanding

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Apr 24, 2022

A beautiful example of interfaith harmony was witnessed in a symbolic event of ‘Breaking of the Fast’ in a respectful spiritual, inter-religious and inter-denominational way at the German consul general’s residence in Karachi on Friday.

Consul General of Germany Holger Ziegeler and his wife hosted an Iftar for Muslims and non-Muslims. The ceremony was followed by a dinner, which was enjoyed by members of various faiths, including Christians, Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Bahais, representing the diversity of Karachi’s inhabitants, the city of many beliefs where — in true Sindhi tradition — we may live together, celebrate together, understand each other, although praying separately.

The event was the idea of Holger Ziegeler to make such a mark for mankind’s overarching need for abstinence, temperance, readjustment and reinvigoration for peace and mutual understanding: This is present in all religions in one form or another. “Everybody feels this need to calm down and reflect, become humble, concentrate on what is good and the right thing to do — for ourselves, for our families and communities, for the country, and for the planet,” he said.

The event also took place on the eve of Earth Day 2022 to reflect our consumption behaviour and support environmental protection in a figurative meaning of fasting. This year’s Christian Easter celebration falls into the month of Ramazan, a rare event that occurs only once every 33 years, said Ziegeler.

The Christians fast for 40 days during the Lent season, a time that is also spent looking to strengthen relationship with God Almighty and pray to Him and give charity to the poor. Similarly, Muslims spend Ramazan in fasting, praying and distributing zakat. There are similarities in various religious beliefs and obligations that should be commemorated in harmonious way.

After he Covid-19 lockdowns this year, he said, finally all can sit together and enjoy the blessed months of thought, Muslim fast and the Lent fast for Christians. “It was due to the strong friendly bonds between the various faiths and hope that this friendship becomes even stronger as more peace spreads in the future as we are all a part of one family that is humanity.”