ASIA/PAKISTAN - Young people of all religions: "Justice, peace and tolerance to build a bright future"

Monday, 13 January 2014

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "The Pakistan of today needs a message of peace, tolerance and harmony. Although we profess different faiths, we are one nation and we can work and grow together": as Cecil Shane Chaudhry, Executive Director of the Commission "Justice and Peace" of the Bishops' Conference of Pakistan explains in an interview with Fides. This is the powerful message delivered by thousands of young people of all religions who met yesterday, 12 January, in Lahore, capital of Punjab, organized by the Commission "Justice and Peace".
The procession, composed of young Muslims, Christians, Sikh Hindus, crossed the city to launch a message to politics and society: "We are the future of the country, we want to build a future of peace, justice, tolerance, respect for the inalienable dignity of every human being without distinction of race, religion, social class ".
As Chaudhry told Fides, the event was the culmination of a project carried out by the Commission in the schools of Punjab. "First of all we turned to the students of religious minorities (Christians, Hindus, Sikhs) interacting with them. We try to teach them how to deal with discrimination in a non-violent manner". The second step was to meet and get young Muslims "to become aware of the fact that harmony and peace are a common good and a priority for the entire nation". Finally the procession, where young people of different faiths walked side by side, to symbolize the yearning for peace in the Pakistani youth.
As Chaudhry highlighted, "it is essential to initiate the work of awareness in schools. Intolerance and hatred often arise in classrooms. It is by talking about values such as peace and justice to new generations that we can hope in a brighter and better future in Pakistan". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/01/2014)