Jordanian Catholics observe fasting during Ramadan

  • Youth group members in Amman enjoy a meal with Archbishop Yasser Al-Ayyash and other friends. Courtesy of Zaid Haddad.
  • Courtesy of Zaid Haddad.
  • Courtesy of Zaid Haddad.
  • Courtesy of Zaid Haddad.

Unlike Christians in many parts of the world, Jordanian Catholics live in a culture where fasting is taken very seriously. During the Islamic month of Ramadan, fasting from sunrise to sunset is required of Muslims as one of the five pillars of the faith, and is a major cultural event, collectively enforced in public settings. Christians are expected to show deference to the observance of Ramadan in all public settings, by not eating, drinking or smoking during daylight hours.

Jordanian Catholics have their own rules for fast, though these differ by church, since Melkites have different rules from Latin or Maronite Catholics.

Year-round, food taboos play a significant role in Jordan as identifiers of observant Muslims. Muslims are expected to abstain from pork and alcohol. Catholics do not observe the prohibition of alcohol, and Muslims seem not to expect it of them. Many restaurants do not serve alcohol, but others do, and Muslims and Christians order accordingly. Pork is simply not available, nor seemingly is it missed by Catholics in Jordan.  

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