ASIA/PAKISTAN - In the Year of Faith Christians work together to build a peaceful and united society
Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - The leaders of the four officially recognized Christian churches in Pakistan (Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, Salvation Army, Anglican Church of Pakistan), have approved a joint statement in which they will work together in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God; to concentrate "on things that unite, avoiding those that divide"; to continue to meet and pray together during the most important liturgical occasions; to promote events with common aims and objectives. As reported to Fides Agency by Fr. Francis Nadeem, OFM Cap, Coordinator of the "Council for Interreligious Dialogue" and "Ecumenical Solidarity Committee" in Lahore, this is a real "action plan for unity." The monk explains to Fides: "If, as Christians in Pakistan, we want to be strong and meaningful, we must remain united. Ecumenical solidarity among Christians of Pakistan contributes to prosperity, progress and peace in the country, but also strengthens the faith and identity of our community."
Fr. Nadeem reports that the Joint Declaration is one of the fruits of the recent Week for Christian Unity ", held from January 18 to 25. The monk thanked the leaders of Churches, priests, Pastors, nuns, seminarians and faithful who participated in the various meetings which strengthened ecumenical ties in the country. During the Week, organized by the four officially recognized Churches, a theme linked to the "walk of Christians" was dealt with every day, characterized by dialogue, freedom, following Christ, solidarity, tolerance.
Among the leaders who animated the Week, the Apostolic Administrator of Lahore, His Exc. Mgr. Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM stressed that solidarity and ecumenism are not only "the commitment of a week in a year," but "an integral part of the activities of the Churches," that remain "united by one faith." The Bishop called the ecumenical spirit "essential" for all the Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict XVI, noting that "solidarity between Christians must be visible in Pakistan." All Church leaders reiterated their commitment to making their communities aware of the importance of harmony between the churches, remembering the Trinitarian concept of "unity in diversity". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 01/02/2013)
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