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Christian priest fasts during Ramadan

by Sam Hailes

Revd Anthony Murley from All Saints Church is raising funds for Human Relief Foundation (HRF) by going without food and water between dawn and dusk during the 30 days of Ramadan.

The HRF has been accused of having close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Dubai based newspaper Gulf News and The Telegraph have reported HRF are a key part of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood's network of charitable support in the UK.

Responding to the claims, Revd Murley told Premier, "My knowledge of the Human Relief Foundation comes from my association with [Muslim friend, pictured above] Nazrin. I've seen how they've been distributing funds to those who really need it most. So it's something I feel confident in supporting," adding he wasn't aware of the accusations against the charity.

Revd Murley is undertaking the fast after members of the nearby Hussainia Mosque observed Lent earlier this year.

The traditionalist Catholic within the Anglican tradition said the fast has been a positive experience.

"It can be a wonderful blessing if it maximises encounter with other people around us, and also a chance to grow and learn."

The clergyman said he acknowledges there are both "key similarities" and "key differences" between Muslim and Christian views of fasting.

"It's interesting to be able to talk about what fasting means, how it effects your prayer life and your state of mind."

The close bond between the church and mosque began when the mosque gave the church a box of chocolates at Christmas. A spokesperson from the mosque said the initial ice-breaker was met with "immense gratitude and a similar gesture where the church gifted the mosque gifts at Eid".

The two places of worship have since organised events together including charity car washes and houses of worship tours for the local community.

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