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Mauritian Cardinal Expresses “closeness, solidarity” with Muslims Ahead of Ramadan

Maurice Cardinal Piat of Port-Louis Diocese in Mauritius. Credit : Courtesy Photo

The Local Ordinary of Mauritius’ Port Louis Diocese, Maurice Cardinal Piat, has expressed solidarity with the Muslims in the Indian Ocean Island nation ahead of the holy month of Ramadan scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 13 evening.

The month of fasting, prayer, reflection for Muslims across the globe, which is expected to conclude on the evening of May 12 is to be observed amid COVID-19 restrictions in Mauritius.

“Dear brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith, as you begin the holy month of Ramadan with the restrictions of the current confinement, I would like to express my closeness and solidarity,” Cardinal Piat says in his Monday, April 12 message posted on Facebook

“We Christians have also had to live our Lent and Holy Week in the midst of confinement and I must admit that it was a real trial for us,” the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) says, and adds that he understands “how difficult it must be to have to comply with these restrictions, even though they are necessary to protect the whole population.”

In Mauritius, places of worship have been closed since March 11 when the government imposed a two-week national lockdown following an upsurge in reported cases of COVID-19.

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While the curfew was eased on March 25, Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth-led government directed that gatherings, including religious ones, be limited to five people starting April 1.

Following the March 25 directives, the leadership of Port Louis Diocese extended the suspension of public worship and directed that Holy Week celebrations be broadcast on social media. 

“Although it is sad that for the second consecutive year, Holy Week cannot be celebrated in Christian community in the church, it is imperative to protect the population as much as possible,” officials the Diocese said in the March 25 message. 

Mauritius has so far recorded at least 1,193 cases of COVID-19, including 15 deaths and 797 recoveries.

“May the Almighty and Merciful God give you the wisdom and determination to live this great month of Ramadan with joy and spiritual benefit despite the circumstances,” Cardinal Piat says in his message to Muslims in Mauritius on the eve of this year’s holy month of fasting, prayer, and reflection.

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