ZAMBOANGA: Christians urged to spend the Advent season in full unity and harmony with Muslims.
Among the several disasters and arguments around the world that add divisions and intolerance and prejudices; a movement for Christian- Muslim dialogue “Silsilah”, is inviting the Christians around the world to spend the Christmas season in complete unity with Muslims. This movement has been now active for about 30 years in the southern Philippines. The message sent by “Silsilah” to Fides; with the intention of its dissipation across the world echoes this slogan: “Silsilah gives voice to the hope of dialogue and peace present in every sincere heart that believes in God’s love and compassion”.
The message sent by Silsilah reads as follows:
“Advent is one of the historical events that unite Christians in the belief that God came at a particular moment of history as Emmanuel, God-with-us. Christmas is the feast of the visible presence of God who took the form of man in Jesus Christ. The movement calls on Christians and Muslims to celebrate Christmas – as well as “Ramadan”, holy moment for Muslims – in the spirit of full fraternal solidarity, to go beyond their own faith and to open up to a common spiritual celebration. The message one wants to share is that God is a God of love and compassion. This mystery of love is an invitation for Christians to reach everyone, because we are all God’s creatures and all are loved by God, regardless of culture and religion. The recent crisis in Zamboanga was a great test for us all. During the conflict, some said that it was a conflict of religion. Thank God some Muslim and Christian leaders managed to stop these rumours, avoiding what could have been a more dangerous conflict. Today we want to reaffirm with this message the need to continue to work together in solidarity. We feel a special mission, to rebuild trust and friendship between Muslims and Christians.
The hope is that Advent becomes for Christians a time of deep reflection and conversion to God through prayer, meditation and fasting, which will lead them to be loving, compassionate and sympathetic towards others.”