For information only - not an official document
23 April 2020
Message on the Beginning of Ramadan
I extend my warmest wishes as millions of Muslims around the world begin observing the holy month of Ramadan.
This will, of course, be a very different Ramadan. Many community activities will naturally be affected by measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, many people in conflict zones will once again be tragically marking this month with war and insecurity all around.
I recently called for an immediate global ceasefire to focus on our common enemy - the virus. I repeat that appeal today, recalling the words of the Holy Quran "and if they incline to peace, then incline to it".
Ramadan is also about supporting the most vulnerable. I thank governments and people throughout the Muslim world who live by their faith, supporting those fleeing conflict in the best Islamic tradition of hospitality and generosity - a remarkable lesson in this world where so many doors have been closed to those in need of protection, even before COVID-19.
Once again, my best wishes to all for mercy, solidarity and compassion in these trying times.
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