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Holy Days Converging in April Trigger Interfaith Celebrations | local religion

The springtime collision of religious holidays inspires a series of interfaith events. In Chicago, there’s the Interfaith Trolley Tour coming April 24, in which a trolley will make stops at places of worship of different faiths. In cities across the country, Muslims invite people to interfaith iftars so they can break their daily Ramadan fast in community with their non-Muslim neighbors.

In addition to Passover, Easter and Ramadan, April’s holy days this year include Vaisakhi of Sikhs and Hindus, Mahavir Jayanti of Jains, Baha’i festival of Ridvan and Theravada Buddhist New Year.

In all religions, the celebration of overlapping holy days and religious holidays is seen as an opportunity to share meals and rituals.

For some, it is also a chance to learn how to cooperate across faith traditions on critical issues, including how to help curb climate change, fight religious intolerance and help people fleeing Afghanistan, Ukraine and other countries during the global refugee crisis.

“The rare convergence of such a wide range of holy days is an opportunity for all of us to share what we hold sacred with our neighbors from other traditions to build understanding and bridge gaps,” said Eboo Patel , Founder and President. of Interfaith America, formerly known as Interfaith Youth Core. “It’s interfaith America in the microcosm.”

In South Chicago, the upcoming trolley tour is meant to educate attendees about this year’s April Break, which is converging in the same month for the first time since 1991, said Kim Schultz, creative initiatives coordinator. at the Interfaith Institute of the Chicago Theological Seminary.

The cart will stop at several sacred spaces, including a Baptist church, mosque and synagogue, and conclude with a sunset iftar hosted by recently resettled Afghan refugees.

“We’re asking people to take advantage of this confluence, the convergence…more than half the world celebrates or commemorates the critical moment in our faith traditions,” said Hind Makki, director of membership and communications at the American Islamic College.

The event is sponsored by the American Islamic College, the Chicago Theological Seminary, the Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at the Lutheran School of Theology, the Hyde Park & ​​Kenwood Interfaith Council, and the Parliament of Religions of world.

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