Wisdom Newsletter | Religious Leaders Across the World Issue a Coordinated End of Ramadan/ Eid al-Fitr Message: Make Friends Across Religions

In this newsletter:

1. Religious Leaders Across the World Issue a Coordinated End of Ramadan/ Eid al-Fitr Message: Make Friends Across Religions

2. Training in Making Friends and Sharing Wisdom


Religious Leaders Across the World Issue a Coordinated End of Ramadan/ Eid al-Fitr Message: Make Friends Across Religions

60 of the World’s Most Prominent Religious leaders, many of whom took part in the landmark declaration issued on June 14th calling for making friends across religions, issued this very same message as a common appeal and message of friendship for the end of Ramadan and celebration of Eid al-Fitr.

The leaders, members of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders, as well as other first-row prominent heads of major faith communities, recalled the recently released statement and affirmed it as a fitting wish for Muslims and non-Muslims on the occasion of this religious moment, celebrated across the world.

The original appeal, made by Pope Francis, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, H.H. the Dalai Lama, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and many others was reframed by leaders participating in the original appeal in the context of the Eid al-Fitr celebration. The appeal for friendship across religions is the first time ever that such an appeal is made, both in terms of religious teaching and in terms of being issued as a common teaching across religions. The present end of Ramadan/Eid al-Fitr statement, in turn, is the first time religious leaders of different traditions issue a coordinated message across the traditions. The message is being disseminated through the Elijah Interfaith Institute, that has coordinated these efforts, as well as through the individual offices and media channels of participating leaders, making it a truly global message.

In their message the leaders state:

As the Muslim community finishes celebrating the month of Ramadan and prepares for the feast of Eid al-Fitr, we wish to send a message of friendship and unity across religions. We recall with great appreciation the recent appeal to make friends (on YouTube and our website) that many of us had the honor to be a part of. A message of friendship across religions is our sincere wish to one and all, Muslims and non-Muslims, and we are happy to recall this message on the occasion of the end of Ramadan and the celebration of the Eid. Friendship and unity are our vision for humanity and as religious leaders we pray that our followers, followers of other religions and even those who do not follow any religion at all, will all help disseminate this spirit of friendship and unity. We are aware of the fact that leaders of different faiths are sending this message out at the same time. At this time in humanity’s history, when divisions seem to grow ever wider, this message of unity is our sincere wish and fervent hope for the wellbeing of all.

List of participating leaders follows.

For further information on the initiative please visit the press section on our website or email your interview request/questions to Press.MakeFriends@gmail.com.

Participating Leaders (click here to read full bios)

Buddhist leaders
H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, India
Jan Chozen Bays, USA
Ven. Norman Fischer, USA
Dharma Master Hsin-Tao, Taiwan
Ven. Bhikkhuni Kusuma, Sri Lanka
Ven. Prof. Jinwol Sunim, Korea
Ven. Sayadaw Ashin Nyanissara, Myanmar
Ven. Khandro Rinpoche, India
Ven. Phradharmakosajarn, Thailand
Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena, India
Ven. Karma Lekshe Tsomo, USA
Ven. Chan Khong

Christian leaders
Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Russia
Archbishop Aram Atesyan, Turkey
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Turkey
Bishop Josiah Fearon, Nigeria
Prior Isabelle Flye-Saintmarie, Israel
Rev. Prof. David Ford, UK
The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Former Presiding Bishop, USA
Katharine Henderson, USA
Dimitra Koukoura, Greece
Bishop Lennart Koskinen, Sweden
His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias, USA
Archbishop Boutrous Mouallem, Israel
The Very Reverend June Osborne, England
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Austria
Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, India
Archbishop Justin Welby of Catnerbury, UK
Abbot Primate Notker Wolf OSB, Italy

Jewish leaders
Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, Israel
Rabbi David Bigman, Israel
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Israel
Chief Rabbi Menachem HaCohen, Romania
Rabbi Arthur Green, USA
Chief Rabbi David Lau, Israel
Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, Russia
Rabbi Richard Marker, USA
Rabbi Michael Melchior, Israel
Rabbi David Rosen, Israel
Gilla Rosen, Israel
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, England
Chief Rabbi Shmuel Rene Sirat, France
Rabbi Abraham Skorka, Argentine
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, The Netherlands
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, UK

Muslim leaders
Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdallah, USA
Sayyed Jawad al-Khoei, Iran
Dr. Yihya Mossa Basha, USA
Grand Mufti Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Bosnia
Imam Plemon El-Amin, USA
Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, India
Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal, USA
Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, USA
Dr. Wahidudin Khan, India
Sayyid Fadhil Milani, UK
Dr. Adamou Ndam Njoya, Cameroon
Sayyid Hassan Qazwini, US
Imam Dr. Abduljalil Sajid, UK
Dr. Ahmed Taoufiq, Morocco
Dr. Muhammad Suheyl Umar, Pakistan
Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, USA

Religions of India leaders 
Swami Agnivesh, India
Swami Amarananda, Switzerland
Sudhamani Mata Amritananda Mayi (Amma), India
Swami Atmapriyananda, India
Chandra Swami, India
Swami Chidananda, India
Swami Rameshwarananda Giri, Spain
Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami, India
Karshni Swami Sri Gurusharananand, India
Sister Jayanti, UK
Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, England
Swami Ramdev, India
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, India
Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji, India
Swami Suhitananda, India


Training in Making Friends and Sharing Wisdom

The number of people who have been exposed to the “Make Friends” message, in its various formats on news outlets, youtube, facebook, twitter etc., is in the millions. (The reach is calculated at 100 million).

We seek to go beyond the initial message and to make Sharing Wisdom and Making Friends an ever-growing reality.

Please visit our website to download the toolkits.

There is a further special opportunity for advancing in sharing wisdom and making friends.

Our summer school and interreligious training seminar will be held in Jerusalem from July 23rd until August 3rd on the theme, “Sharing Wisdom: the Quest for One-ness,” and you are invited to be there.

Join us for the full two weeks or for just the first, or participate in particular sessions that interest you. You will meet fascinating people from around the world who share with you the quest for wisdom and for one-ness and the desire to make friends.

Looking forward to seeing you there.