Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, has published an open letter to the Muslim community on Eid al-Fitr. “On this blessed occasion, I write to share ‘A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to the Muslim Community,'” the letter read, in part. “Through this message to you, we recommit ourselves to the heart of both our theological traditions: love of God and love of neighbor.”
“Lutherans and Muslims have engaged in a dialogue of life, learning from our differences and growing in our common beliefs,” the letter continued. “We have discovered friendship and solidarity, working shoulder to shoulder toward a better life for all people and creation. Along the way, we have come to know each other, and ourselves.
“Christ commanded us to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 19:19). Yet to truly love you, we must know you. That is why I am always moved when I hear the Qur’anic teaching that Allah (God) made humans so ‘that we may know one another’ (Surah 49:13). We have come to expect great joy in knowing you. We give thanks for you, our neighbors, who reflect God’s generous love. ”