News Release

Fasting and Faith discussed at Ramadan Event

People from different faith backgrounds came together to celebrate Ramadan at a Melton community Iftar dinner last month.


Hosted by Melton Interfaith at the Melton Civic Centre, the dinner was attended by 180 people including Mayor of the City of Melton, Cr Bob Turner and other councillors, Principal of Al Iman College, Ali Zulfiquar, and local faith leaders including Gurpreet Verma, Vice President of the Sri Durga Hindu Temple. This is the third year the Melton community has come together for the annual Iftar dinner.

With the aim of building links and understanding between people of faith, speakers shared their beliefs about fasting, which is practiced in many different religions. Speakers included students from Al Iman College who explained the purpose of Ramadan, and Elder Iroz, a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who shared a Christian perspective on fasting.

Interfaith Officer for Melton City Council, Tapuwa Bofu remarked on the attendance of people of all ages, making it a “truly family event.”

“I also enjoyed listening to members of other faiths who were given the opportunity to explain the importance of fasting in their own communities.”

Essan Dileri, Intercultural Development Officer for Melton City Council commented on the “spirit of empathy and harmony” amongst attendees as they celebrated Ramadan together.

Yvette Barnes, Director of Public Affairs of the Wyndham Stake (diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was grateful to learn more about Islam and enjoy respectful conversation.

“There was a natural and comfortable conversation around our table about people’s experience growing up with various faith traditions,” said Yvette.

“It was a wonderful experience to have half a dozen people of different faiths openly sharing their ideas with no animosity or awkwardness. It felt totally respectful.”

Latter-day Saints observe fasting by refraining voluntarily from food and drink for two consecutive meals at least once a month. The purpose of the fast is to draw closer to God and request His blessings. They are also asked to contribute the money that they would have spent on food for those meals to the Church’s welfare system to assist the poor and needy.

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