The article originally appeared in Kurdistan 24.
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In a demonstration of coexistence and religious tolerance in the Kurdistan Region, a Church in Erbil on Tuesday hosted a dinner for Muslims observing the Islamic month of Ramadan.
The Christian community in the district of Soran in Erbil Province prepared endless tables of food at the St. George Church where they invited their fellow Muslims to break their fast.
Kurdistan 24 correspondent Tayfur Mohammed spoke with the Reverend of the Church who congratulated Muslims celebrating Ramadan.
“Muslims and [Christians] have lived in this region for hundreds of years. We share all the occasions and joys,” Reverend Amin stated. “We also consider the month of Ramadan to be a holy month.”
Waisy Said Waisy, director at the office for religious affairs in Soran, said the “coexistence in the district of Soran and the whole of Kurdistan is a model to be followed.”
“Today, we will join our Muslim brothers to break their fast at the Church,” he said. “We are proud of the culture of coexistence between the components of Kurdistan, and we will work to preserve it in all forms.”
The Kurdistan Region, considered an oasis of stability and tranquility in a chaotic region, has gained a good reputation as a haven for all persecuted minorities who have been displaced by the conflict in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Since the so-called Islamic State’s mid-2014 emergence and targeting of ethnic and religious groups, Kurdistan has provided shelter for millions of displaced persons.
Christians, in particular, have been subject to increased violence since the fall of the former Iraqi dictatorship in 2003 which prompted many of them to flee to the Kurdistan Region while others sought safety in Europe and North America.
This article was originally published in Kurdistan 24.