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Religious groups say Praying and fasting day promotes cohesion

Representatives of the Three main religious bodies in Guyana along with Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha (Middle)

The three main religions in Guyana are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. In these religions, there are periods of fasting and reflection. This year these fasting periods fall during April.

As part of President Irfaan Ali’s One Guyana vision, a National Day of Fasting and Prayer was announced for April 8.

This announcement was welcomed by representatives of the various bodies as they believe that this initiative will play a key role in promoting religious tolerance and cultural cohesion.

“Our people must come together to find common grounds. We must understand that the foundation that we lay now will determine how our descendants will exist in the future” says Reverend Donald Mc Garell who represented the Christian community.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Islamic Forum Chairman, Haji Roshan Khan, also expressed similar sentiments.

“It is something that moves the soul and moves the heart and we must take to the fact that in Guyana we have a mixed nation, ethnically and religiously.”

“I must say it very commendable for what we have seen happening, even in the region something like this would have happened where a President, a leader of the nation has decided that we are going to do something of this sort”, says Aditya Persaud who represented the Hindu community.

Fasting is usually defined as the abstinence from food or drink or both for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes. The abstention may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent.

During this time, the Hindus observe Navrati, Christians - Lent and Muslims (Islam) - Ramadan. Navrati lasts for nine days, Lent 40 days and Ramadan for 29 to 30 days.

The type of fasting that these bodies observe varies accordingly.

The National Day of praying and fasting will be observed at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC) from 15:30 hrs and is open to the general public.


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