The interfaith community is strong and active, and throughout the year there are opportunities to learn more about other faiths. On July 31, the Pakistani American Community and Interfaith Paths to Peace invited the general community to a free interfaith Iftar dinner. More than 400 people came to Second Presbyterian Church for the event.
In the Islamic faith, during the month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from food, drink and other physical needs from sunrise to sunset. They are also called upon to refrain from improper actions, thoughts and words.
In traditions similar to the Jewish traditions surrounding Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Muslims also use Ramadan to evaluate their lives with respect to their religious precepts, make peace with those who have wronged them, strengthen ties with family and friends and refocus themselves.
Part of the daily Ramadan ritual is breaking the daytime fast with family and friends at an Iftar dinner, and many visit their mosques for prayers, readings from the Qur’an and lectures.
This Iftar dinner included remarks on compassion from community and faith leaders across Louisville, including Mayor Greg Fischer, Chief of Police Steve Conrad and the founder of the Partnership for a Compassionate Louisville, Tom Williams.
Faith leaders who spoke on compassion in their faiths were Rabbi Laura Metzger for Judaism, Rev. Susan Moorefield for Christianity and Nina Kahloon for Islam. In addition, prayers for compassion were offered by Geshe Kelsang Rapgyal for Buddhism, Sunder Iyer for Hinduism and Dr. Mansour Rabbani for the Baha’i community.
An international style buffet dinner by Jarfi’s Catering was served.
The event underwriters were KentuckyOne Health, Norton Healthcare, the Baptist Healthcare System, George and Mary Lee Fischer, the Kahloon, Pasic Law Firm, Second Presbyterian Church and many donors from the Pakistani American Community of Louisville.
Those agencies partnering with the presenting organizations in promoting this event included The Baha’is of Louisville, Drepung Gomang Institute, Festival of Faiths, Hindu Temple of Kentucky, The Jewish Community of Louisville, The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living, The Muslim Community Center of Louisville, Partnership for a Compassionate Louisville, River Road Mosque, The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University and St. William & St. Agnes Catholic Churches.