Rare Confluence of Religious Holidays Marked by Interfaith Efforts in Orange County

September 18, 2006

Source: Orange County Register


On September 18, 2006 the Orange County Register reported, "At a time when religious conflict has turned lethal for so many people and shattered their peace and security, a rare confluence of the sacred seasons of the three Abrahamic faiths – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – begins this week. Scores of Orange County residents – people of all faiths who say they've had enough of division, discord and senseless death in the name of religion – are planning to seize this convergence as a chance to show solidarity, celebrate and defy those who promote hate. 'I don't know about the feast of St. Francis or Ramadan,' said Sande Hart, 45, the mother of two teens and an organizer of one of the largest local events, 'Sharing Sacred Seasons,' set for Oct. 7 in Aliso Viejo. 'For me, it's a real learning experience. But I do know that ignorance breeds hatred. And we want to be a light in the darkness'... Here's what's happening: •Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, begins at sunset Friday leading off Tishri, the month of the High Holy Days. •Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and contemplation, begins with the sighting of the new moon on Saturday. •A few days later on Oct. 4 comes the feast day of perhaps the most popular of Christian saints, St. Francis of Assisi, who was one of the few Christian leaders of his day to oppose the Crusades against Muslims and Jews. •The birthday of the great Hindu statesman and peacemaker, Mahatma Gandhi, fortuitously also falls during this time, on Oct. 2."