Elder Patrick Kearon offers Ramadan greeting to Muslim ‘brothers and sisters’ worldwide

Elder Kearon’s greeting is latest in a series of efforts by the Church to highlight commonality between Muslims and Latter-day Saints

As Muslims began observing the Islamic holy month on March 10, Elder Patrick Kearon of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a Ramadan greeting on social media with Muslims worldwide.

“I’m pleased to send my Ramadan greetings to all our Muslim brothers and sisters around the globe,” said Elder Kearon, who was raised in the United Kingdom and the Middle East. “I’ve spent many years living and working with Muslims in various parts of the world. I’ve gained an increased understanding and greater admiration for the faithful through these interactions.”

In a video, Elder Kearon noted that Ramadan, a month of daily fasting from dawn to sunset that ends on April 8, highlights a commonality between Muslims and Latter-day Saints.

“Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [also] believe that these acts of devotion have the power to uplift our lives, bringing us closer to the light and love of God and each other,” Elder Kearon said. “I’ve seen how Ramadan can bring people together and foster unity in communities.

“As a disciple of Jesus Christ,” the Apostle added, “I pray that this month will bless all who seek God in their lives. I hope you find joy and peace during this special time of Ramadan.”

Elder Kearon’s Ramadan greeting comes days after three BYU basketball playersAly Khalifa, Fousseyni Traore and Atiki Ally Atiki — discussed their plans to observe the Islamic holy month.

Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Javon Small (12) drives on Brigham Young Cougars forward Fousseyni Traore (45) as BYU and Oklahoma State play at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, March 9, 2024. BYU 85-71. Traore is one of three BYU players who are Muslim and plan to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The newest Latter-day Saint Apostle is not the first Church leader to offer a Ramadan greeting or seek to build interfaith friendships with Muslims.

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Middle East/Africa North Area, shared Eid al-Fitr greetings in a video posted in May 2021.

Later the same year at a BYU conference, Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Gerrit W. Gong, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, encouraged Latter-day Saints to better understand the similarities and differences they have with the globe’s 1.8 billion followers of Islam.

“The two faiths are different in many of our core doctrines, but many of our values and the ways in which we practice our respective faith are similar and reflect our love of God and of our fellow man,” Elder Bednar said on that occasion.

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In January 2022, the Church released a new 35-page pamphlet designed to enhance understanding between those of Muslim and Latter-day Saint faiths. The two Apostles underscored the Church’s efforts with Muslims in defense of religious freedom.

“As we meet with Muslim leaders across the world, we talk about defending religious freedom,” Elder Gong said. “People of faith need to stand together for tolerance and dignity of people of all religious beliefs.”

In April of that same year, Elder Bednar sent greetings to Muslim friends on social media at the beginning of Ramadan. “Ramadan Mubarak!” he wrote. “We express our profound respect for your devotion to God and your generosity to those in need. We wish you a blessed Ramadan.”

In April 2023, Elder Bednar shared a similar message of connection with Muslim friends at the close of Ramadan. “We hope it was a blessed time for you and for your loved ones,” he said.

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On April 22, 2023, when members of a Latter-day Saint stake in Ghana learned that the Muslims in their area did not have a facility large enough to gather at the end of Ramadan, the stake presidency offered the grounds of the stake center.

“This is the culmination of many years of working with our Muslim friends,” said Emmanuel Botwe, the Church’s communication director for Ghana. “We attend each other’s meetings, our youth groups work together, and we partner together for the betterment of our community. When they needed us for the festival, we were there.”

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Church releases ‘Muslims and Latter-day Saints: Beliefs, Values, and Lifestyles’ to enhance understanding between 2 faiths
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