ASIA/PAKISTAN - Together Christians and Muslims demonstrate for peace and tolerance, against terrorism, war and violence

Thursday, 23 September 2004

Lahore (Fides Service) - Despite the threat of fundamentalist Islamic groups, a latent conflict in the disputed border region of Kashmir, the presence of Jihad radicals in the region of Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan, Pakistani peace activists, Christians and Muslims, spare no efforts to promote dialogue and tolerance.
On the occasion of the recent UN World Day of Peace, 21 September, the Justice and Peace commission of Lahore archdiocese organised a demonstration for peace which brought peace loving Christians and Muslims into the streets, including many school children from the local schools, Catholic priests and religious and Muslim leaders.
The participants crossed the town singing songs for peace and bearing banners. Slogans like “Peace is not won with war and violence”, “No nuclear weapons” “Abolish laws which stop the path of peace” referred to the situation in the Middle East, the arms race between India and Pakistan and Pakistan’s blasphemy law used to discriminate against religious minorities.
Christian, Muslim and Hindu leaders who all condemned the many forms of violence afflicting the world today gave speeches.
Sister Genevieve, Superior of the Sisters of charity in Lahore, said: “Our faith teaches us peace, tolerance and love for humanity. We are followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Our service is to offer people, children especially, education, health care and social assistance”. The demonstration one of the organisers Franciscan Abid Habib, thanked the participants for coming and encouraged them to continue on the path to peace. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/9/2004 lines 28 words 286)