The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India has extended greetings to the Muslim community on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice. "May this feast which recalls the commitment, obedience and self-sacrificing spirit of Abraham continue to inspire not just Muslims but all of us," said Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, the conference secretary-general on Sept. 13. Bishop Mascarenhas said that the festival inspires all to "live by our religious beliefs and to spread the message of universal brotherhood living in mutual respect, sacrifice, cooperation and peace." The festival, the second of two major Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, was observed across the country with prayers and festivities except in Kashmir and Bengaluru (Bangalore) where curfews were imposed following protests. Dressed in their festive best, people across the country visited mosques early in the morning to offer prayers on the festival. Considered one of the two most important Islamic feasts, Eid al-Adha observance includes sacrificing a sheep, cow, goat, buffalo or camel. Following Eid prayers, the meat of the sacrificed animal is distributed among friends as a pious exercise.
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