Mandelbrot set image very small MohammedAmin.com
Serious writing for
serious readers
Follow @Mohammed_Amin
Join my
email list

Search this site

Custom Search
Tap here for MENU

Why do we attend other faiths religious events?

Shared religious beliefs is only a small part of the answer. I believe the main reason is that attendance demonstrates your respect and love for other believers as fellow human beings.

Until 18 July, you can hear my Thought for the Week on the BBC iPlayer at this link, as well as hearing me discuss the following stories from the Sunday newspapers with Mike Shaft. Listen from 2:37:26.

  1. The human tragedies represented by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, and whether the public enquiry is an attempt to "kick the issue into the long grass." From this Sunday Times story.
  2. Cricket, with Pakistan and India about to contest the ICC World Championship Trophy final.
  3. Global warming and too many tourists mean that the existing species on Antartica are threatened by an influx of flies and mosses. From this Observer story.
  4. A wonderful picture of a snarling 7 week old tiger cub at a zoo in Russia, under the watchful eye of its mother. From this Sunday Times story.

Posted 18 June 2017

Earlier today I gave my 35th "Thought for the Week" on BBC Radio Manchester. As it was the date of the Muslim Jewish Forum's annual interfaith iftar, I wanted to mention that.

That led me into thinking about exactly why do we attend religious events organised by other faiths. 90 seconds was enough time to explain my answer.

Thought for the week

This is the month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. The meal when the fast ends is called an iftar. A wonderful trend in recent years is the number of iftars where Muslims invite guests of other faiths and none to join them. This evening is the Muslim Jewish Forum Interfaith Iftar which we have been running for several years.

Similarly, last month, I went to the Coptic Orthodox Church centre in Stevenage to attend a service officiated by His Holiness Pope Tawadros The Second.

That leads to the question: “Exactly why do we attend religious events organised by other faiths?”

Part of the answer may be that our religious beliefs overlap. Many of the things that Coptic Orthodox Christians believe are also things that I believe as a Muslim. For example, we both believe that God rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and parted the Red Sea for Moses. We both believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, the virgin Mary.

However, our beliefs also differ. I believe that Jesus was a man, while Coptic Orthodox Christians believe that Jesus was divine.

Personally, I don’t think that shared beliefs are the main reason for attending events organised by other religions. I think it is something much more fundamental.

Attending other religions events is a way of showing respect for, and rejoicing in, our shared humanity.

By attending, you are giving out the following message: “I may not believe exactly what you believe. However, I am here because I respect you, and because I love you as a fellow human being.”

 

The Disqus comments facility below allows you to comment on this page. Please respect others when commenting.
You can login using any of your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Disqus identities.
Even if you are not registered on any of these, you can still post a comment.
comments powered by Disqus

 

Custom Search

Follow @Mohammed_Amin

Tap for top of page