Religious leaders fostered interfaith harmony and mutual understanding in the Chicago Turkish-American Society during the Ramadan dinner

Approximately 250 people of all faiths to come together in the spirit of peace and togetherness participated in an Interfaith Iftar dinner on Saturday April 15, 2023, organized by the Niagara Foundation at the Turkish American Society of Chicago with Partner of many faith organizations including Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, St. Raymond of Penafort Church, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Congregation Beth Judea.

The Niagara Foundation was originally founded in Chicago area in 2003 by a group of Turkish Americans who promote abolishing the ignorance, disunion, and misunderstanding they Believed in society through hosting various interfaith activities and events.

The guests at the event, came from different faiths and walks of life including many Elected officials, commended the Niagara Foundation for providing speakers of different faiths a platform to share the message of common values of humanity

The Evening which focused on interfaith dialogue Understanding and peace, gathered civil society figures and representatives of the different religious communities.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressman Brad Schneider, and Mayor of Mount Prospect Paul Wm. Hoefert was also in attendance.

While speaking on the occasion, Board President, Niagara Foundation Mevlut Hilmi Cinar shared valuable insights and reflections on various Interfaith Common understanding during the holy month of Ramadan.

"I am thrilled to have been a part of this amazing event and to have had the chance to connect with so many wonderful Faith people. We are looking forward to continuing to build relationships and strengthen Chicagoland community bonds in the future," said Dr. Ferhat Kazkondu, Executive Director, Niagara Foundation.

Congressman Brad Schneider shared values about faith holidays like Easter, Ramadan, and Passover. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi shared the values of peace, love and tolerance are the essence of all faiths in the Community

On this occasion, all the guests were entertained with dates while different types of food were arranged.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Scott Alexander, who is an Associate Professor of Islam and Director, Catholic-Muslim Studies at Chicago Theological Union highlighted the themes of peace, religious harmony, and respect for human rights. He also shares the Message of Easter Ramadan and Passover. The three Abrahamic faiths seek to remind Values of our responsibility for each other and for the world. He further said, this is a time for awareness that this is a time of tremendous celebration, spiritual connection, community connection and spiritual depth. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus, Passover celebrates freedom and liberation from slavery, and Ramadan is a commemoration of Muhammad's first revelation. All three holidays are observed differently, which opens a conversation and dialogue.

During the Dinner, Faith attendees discussed ways to celebrate diversity and bring communities together in several Places in Chicagoland.

Several noted faith leaders also attended the event and share their thought included Jill Heinking, Director of Discipleship Formation, St Raymond de PeƱafort Catholic Community; Sara Trumm, Director of a Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace, and Justice (CCME); Morris Zimbalist Rabbi at Congregation Beth Judea; Muhammed Aslan, Chaplain UChicago Medicine; and DuPage County Attorney Azam Nizamuddin Commissioner on the Commission on Professionalism.

Before the breaking the fast, a call to prayer was announced with its meaning in the subtitles, followed by a prayer

At the end, prayer was performed before the ceremony concluded.

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