Iftar in Church in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

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Father Reverand Kent Middleton (second left) with Hindu priest Swami Sandeep Anandagiri and other community members during the special Iftar in St. Luke Anglican Church

Keeping with the UAE’s vision for 2019 to be the ‘Year of Tolerance’, a group of expats took the opportunity to celebrate Ramadan and partake in a special Iftar inside a church in Ras Al Khaimah. In what could be a first, the expats, mainly from Kerala, spent the evening celebrating Ramadan and partaking in the Iftar inside St. Luke Anglican Church in northern Emirate. The event titled “Vishu Easter and Iftar meet”, was organised by the RAK Knowledge Theatre in conjunction with other community groups, including the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre based in the UAE.
A Hindu priest Swami Sandeep Anandagiri flew in especially from Trivandrum, Kerala to deliver a special message at the event. Speaking to Gulf News, he said: “We need more platforms like this to spread the message of love and peace. It is terrible living a life of hatred and violence’. Anandagiri, is chairman and managing director of the School of Bhagavad Gita in Trivandrum.
Reverand Father Kent Middleton, who hails from South Africa, said he was enthusiastic about playing host to a secular Iftar and will be doing it on a regular basis going forward. Reverand Father Nelson Fernandes, former parish priest of St. Luke Anglican church and the current chaplain of mission to seafarers in Dubai, said: ‘In all the 13 years I have lived in the UAE, I have not seen anything like this. To my knowledge, this is the first time a church held Iftar prayers inside its premises’.
(Extracted from gulfnews.com)