The Chaldean Patriarchate invited Iraqi Christians in the war-torn country to celebrate the Holy Ramadan with their fellow Muslim citizens as a symbolic gesture of solidarity.
Heeding the call of Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, Iraqi Christians joined Iraqi Muslims Friday, June 17 in celebrating the holy month of Ramadan by fasting and prayer.
"In this way we just wanted to propose a Christian gesture: as Christians, we are confident that fasting and prayer, also shared with others, can work miracles, while weapons and military interventions only kill," Sako told Agenzia Fides.
Muslims around the world celebrate Ramadan by dawn to dusk with fasting and intense prayer. They commemorate the time believed when Allah revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad.
The Christians also accompanied their symbolic gesture with acts of charity as they pray for peace and stability in a country that's ravaged by Islamic State terrorists and produced a large number of internally displaced people.
"Today we will offer, through Caritas Iraq, a contribution of $50 thousand in favor of the refugees of Fallujah," said Sako.
The patriarch added that they planned to "symbolically offer" Iftar to some Iraqi Muslims as they break the day's fasting. He noted that although many Muslims expressed gratitude, some Christians abroad criticized their gesture.
Dr. Bob Roberts, a senior pastor of Northwood Church who helped pen the landmark document Marrakesh Declaration that aimed to better Christian-Muslim relations worldwide, denounced the unloving attitude adopted by fellow Christian Americans toward Muslims as detrimental to Christian-Muslim relations.
Roberts believe that hateful comments Christians make against the Muslims only add to Christian persecution in predominantly Muslim countries.
"We are creating a nightmare for Christians around the world," Roberts told The Christian Post. "Christians actually increase Christian persecution around the world in America by being hateful to Muslims. And those are your brothers in Christ. The world is connected."