There is more than Pentecost


More inter-religiousness, please – There is not more than Pentecost today, the end of Ramadan, Muslims in the mosque. Why we should care about and what I learned at the interfaith fast-breaking.Opinion Aleksandra Hiltmann1 Comment1″respect for our equality as a people, even if we are different”, said a participant in the Online sector, in the case of the Jews, Christians, Muslims, and non-religious took part./iStockphoto

“open in Time for Pentecost, the churches,” was the headline in this newspaper in the news Ticker to the last locker. “In time for Eid al-Fitr” could be the punch line to a hair. That didn’t happen – for two reasons.

first: Eid al-Fitr, many also Bajram called, takes place this year today, on 24. May, instead. The four days before Church services in the Corona of a pandemic are permitted. Secondly: so far, the sympathy of the Swiss majority population adheres to religious festivals of other than Roman Catholic and Evangelical reformed communities in the boundaries of faith.

For all of you that have never heard of Eid al-Fitr: It is the Feast is celebrated after the fasting month of Ramadan of Muslims. There is not only eat much but also holiday prayers in the mosques. Except this year, due to Corona.

What do we care as the majority of society, you might ask. We are reformed in a country with a majority of Christian Tradition, Catholic,. For us, Christmas and Easter is celebrated, the assumption and Pentecost.

The reality is, however, that Switzerland is also communities home to many other religious and spiritual. You should use this to strengthen our already diverse culture, which will anyway be always colorful.


celebrate made Recently I have a special experience. I switched to me in an inter-religious Online fast break, an Initiative of the project “Respect: a Muslim – and Jewish hostility to jointly overcome” the dialogue of the National Coalition Building Institute NCBI Switzerland.

In the tiles on the screen, people with headscarves and skullcaps appeared, even people who were not seen as Related to a particular Religion, some were – like me – are not specifically religious. What I experienced during the following two and a half hours, has touched me.

To be discussed at the beginning about what we need to feel in Switzerland at home. We also shared moments with each other where this was not so. Most of the Participants were offended, as I learned, because of their Religion already. Some wear aware of any symbols that you make as members of a particular faith community visible. Wish they would gaze sincere interest rather than oblique. Because the voice of the clay, would you like to the headpiece or the food regulations questions.

Each tile its own story

A woman with a headscarf told in broken English, like you, it is not surprising it was, that you said the Jewish men in dark clothes while Walking. Now you have in one of the Breakout Sessions – a smaller Zoom-group discussion – more about the life of Orthodox Jews find. “I understand the Situation better now.”

Thus, the inter-religious almost looked to break the Zoom. The organisers are the ones with the “Respect Iftar 2.0”-Background. With a Rabbi, an Imam and a pastor. Me you see in the top row, Second from the left. Screenshot: ahl

A young Christian woman told of how she was able to build with their Orthodox Jewish neighbors, a beautiful relationship. It took, but in the meantime, you’ll be invited to feasts, her friend, a Muslim, playing games with the children of the neighbors in the yard.

A Pensioner said that he had had during Corona enough time to Pray. “Especially in the night, I can speak well with God.” “When you get back because, actually, during Ramadan?”, someone asked in the round. A lot of different answers followed, some NAP during the day, other.

And fast-breaking and the Zoom was in each tile on the screen, something else happened. First pray, then eat, eat first, then pray. A Jew said afterwards that he was pleased to see that there are all made different, to be “like us”. I thought of the Christian family, in my environment, all of which have their own Christmas tradition.

On the table, traditional dishes arrived. We learned that a young man calls regularly to his Sudanese Relatives to ask for new recipes for his Iftars. A Muslim woman held her camera on a steaming lasagna. A Jewish woman laughed and said: “I also eat just lasagna!”


celebrate At the end everyone thanked each other for the familiar atmosphere and the stories. “We feel enriched,” said many. At times, over 80 people were currently or originally Arab and African countries, from Israel, the USA and Switzerland on. To learn some of the bot this virtual Meeting was the first opportunity to be a member of a other community of faith in person.

The religious practice can create trenches, you can shoot people exclude, restrict, discriminate. You can, however, also creates community. The interest in the Faith, you can’t get to know the people behind the Latter better, even if one is a believer. Of course, you can also to try without the Religion, but also, if it hooks up there.

I consider, therefore, that we take on the holidays of the “other” more share. Just go when the opportunity arises. Ask if you can come, too. Invite others to themselves. Perhaps representatives of the majority society, it comes to us, then eventually all natural on the lips: “A blessed Ramadan!”, “Happy Hanukkah!”, “Happy Divali!”.

0 comment please Login to comment