Fasting should be cool. The Catholic church will therefore present the fasting this year as the "Christian Ramadan". "That we use a Muslim term has to do with Ramadan being a more familiar concept by youth than fasting," says campaign head Van der Kuil.
Till 1967, The Catholic Church had strict rules for the 40 day fasting period between Ash Wednesday and Easter, like the Muslims have during Ramadan. Catholics couldn't eat meat or alcohol in that period. Children could not eat sweets during the week.
Later Rome gave believers he freedom to give their own interpretation for this period, except for Ash Wednesday (the first day of fasting) and Good Friday (the last day), when Catholics must still formally refrain from easting meat.
Since 1967 the focus is on collecting money for the third world. "Then it revolved around solidarity. Now we want to bring back also spirituality and frugality."
Therefore Catholics are called upon to deny themselves something or make a sacrifice. For example, by eating less. But you can also give form to the fasting by not watching TV, reading a book about the meaning of life or visiting somebody which you otherwise wouldn't do.
By using the term 'Ramadan', the Catholic church wants to attract attention to fasting. Van der Kuil think s that several tens of thousands of Catholics still keep the fasting tradition. That is a small percentage of the 4 million Dutch who think of themselves as Catholic and a also a small percentage of the 400,000 believers who regularly go to church.
Source: Volkskrant (Dutch) h/t Weaser Zippers (English)
See also: The 5 pillars of protestantism