Fasting for Faith: How Jesus and Ramadan Unite Us in Solidarity with Palestine


In this month of Ramadan, it is crucial for people of faith to fast in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters, particularly those in Palestine who are facing tremendous hardships. Innocent lives are being lost, and Israeli forces are destroying homes in the ongoing conflict.

Many Black Pastors and Black Christians may be surprised to learn that Gaza is home to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities. Before the Israeli blockade began in 2007, around 3,000 Christians lived in the region. However, due to the harsh conditions and recent violence, the Christian population has dwindled to just 800, with casualties increasing daily. The Palestinian Christian community fears for its future and possible disappearance.

Evidence from the Bible suggests that Jesus was a Palestinian Jew. In Matthew 21:10–11, upon Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the crowds identified him as “Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee,” affirming Nazareth as a significant Palestinian Arab city within Israel. Nazareth holds immense religious importance in Christianity, being described as Jesus’ childhood home and hosting numerous Christian pilgrimage sites.

If we claim to follow Jesus, we should harbor compassion for the women and children killed in Palestine today, or risk being hypocrites to your own religion. Jesus tells believers in Matthew 22:37–39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This passage, often referred to as the Great Commandment, encapsulates the essence of Jesus’ teachings on love and compassion. It instructs believers to love both God and their fellow human beings, emphasizing the interconnectedness of love for God and love for one’s neighbor. Therefore, we should show love to our Muslim and Palestinian brothers and sisters, not being afraid to speak truth to power and call for an end to war. The command to love one’s neighbor as oneself underscores the importance of empathy, kindness, and care for others, regardless of differences in background, beliefs, or circumstances.

During this holy month of Ramadan and in times of global turmoil, it is essential for people of faith to find common ground and unity. Despite the differences between Christianity and Islam, there are significant similarities between Jesus’ fasting in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–15) and the practice of fasting during Ramadan.

In both traditions, fasting is seen as a means of spiritual growth, self-discipline, resisting temptation, and obedience to God’s will. Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the wilderness, where Satan tempted him, testing his spiritual strength and preparing him for his ministry. Similarly, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset during Ramadan as an act of worship, obedience, and spiritual purification.

The fasting practices of Jesus and Muslims emphasize nurturing one’s spiritual life, strengthening the connection with God, and demonstrating devotion and commitment to faith.

In a world filled with chaos and division, and with world leaders increasingly recognizing the plight of the Palestinian people, it is more important than ever for people of faith to come together and focus on our shared values and beliefs. Rather than listening to toxic, misinformed spiritual leaders who constantly emphasize what divides us, we must remember that we all have to coexist on this planet. By acknowledging the similarities between our religious practices, such as fasting, we can cultivate understanding, respect, and unity among believers of different faiths.

Fasting serves as a time for spiritual growth and self-discipline, but it also provides Christians with an opportunity to resist the devil and the temptations that surround us. In today’s world, we must remain alert and actively resist the false narratives spread by the media and the misinformation that aims to divide us. We must also be cautious not to succumb to the temptations offered by those in power, such as jobs, positions, and money, as these can ultimately lead to a form of enslavement and leave us feeling unsatisfied.

Jesus sets a powerful example for us, not only in terms of fasting but also in how we should live our lives. His experience in the wilderness, where he resisted Satan’s temptations, serves as a model for us to emulate. By following Jesus’ unwavering commitment to God’s will and his steadfast dedication to truth and righteousness, we can navigate the challenges and deceptions that we face in this world.

Moreover, by joining hands with our Muslim brothers and sisters and recognizing the importance of supporting our Palestinian family, we can further strengthen our resolve to live according to Jesus’ teachings. In doing so, we demonstrate our commitment to unity, compassion, and justice, which are essential values in both Christianity and Islam.

This Ramadan presents a unique opportunity for us to reflect on our common spiritual goals and work together towards a more peaceful and harmonious world. We can build bridges of understanding between our communities by highlighting the parallels in our traditions, such as the emphasis on spiritual growth, self-discipline, resisting temptation, and obedience to God.

Our shared commitment to fasting can serve as a beacon of hope and a testament to the power of faith in promoting love, peace, freedom, and justice. Let us come together during this holy month of Ramadan and beyond, using our common ground to foster a more compassionate, united, and harmonious world. Through our collective devotion and dedication to our faiths, we can be a shining example of the transformative power of unity and love for all of humanity.

Let us seize this moment to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and all those facing oppression, demonstrating the true essence of our shared values and working towards a brighter future for all. By coming together in a spirit of understanding and respect, we can harness the power of our faiths to bring about positive change and create a world where peace, justice, and compassion reign supreme.

A multifaceted personality, Damon is an activist, author, and the force behind Black Westchester Magazine, a notable Black-owned newspaper based in Westchester County, New York. With a wide array of expertise, he wears many hats, including that of a Spiritual Life Coach, Couples and Family Therapy Coach, and Holistic Health Practitioner. He is well-versed in Mental Health First Aid, Dietary and Nutritional Counseling, and has significant insights as a Vegan and Vegetarian Nutrition Life Coach. Not just limited to the world of holistic health and activism, Damon brings with him a rich 32-year experience as a Law Enforcement Practitioner and stands as the New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America.

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