For Muslims around the world, August 1 started the month of fasting known as Ramadan. Muslims believe that the Quran was revealed in this month and that the month of Ramadan is the holiest month of the year. During this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, but at sunset break their fast with sumptuous meals.
This year, the Beyoglou municipality of Istanbul sponsored a lavish Ramadan dinner on Thursday, August 4th. The entertainment for this dinner included whirling Dervishes, who dance and whirl to induce a state of mystical ecstasy.
Patriarch Bartholomew attended this celebration and spoke on the significance of fasting. The Patriarch was honoured by
the invitation to attend and placed 10 photos from this event on the Patriarchate's website. A description of this dinner can be found at:
and at: http://www.patriarchate.org/multimedia/photos?setID=72157627277723853
Forty-two years ago when the parish of St. Nektarios was founded in Toronto as a refuge from heresy, many detractors argued that the heresy of Ecumenism was not significant enough to cause separation
from the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Churches in communion with the Patriarchate. Those who held this opinion then, can find nothing wrong with the Patriarch's
joining with the chief Rabbi of Istanbul and leaders of various heretical groups to honour Ramadan. This is how the poison of heresy slowly but surely possesses one who once believed.
We must always be vigilant and guard ourselves against heresy no matter how insignificant it may appear or we too might find ourselves honouring Ramadan and the Anti-Christ.