ASIA/PAKISTAN - "Terrorism and intolerance are the wounds of Pakistan"

Monday, 28 July 2014

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "Terrorism and religious intolerance are the worst plagues that afflict Pakistan" says to Fides Agency Fr. Inayat Bernard, rector of Santa Maria Seminary in Lahore. "The Church in Pakistan is responding to these challenges: through Caritas in Islamabad-Rawlpindi, in the North, affected by the flow of IDPs from North Waziristan, caused by the anti-terrorist offensive of the army. We want peace and even Islam is a religion of peace. The whole country is supporting the military effort to eradicate terrorism. We continue to pray so that harmony and peace triumph in the nation".
On the other hand, the priest says, "there is a Taliban mentality in society, made of intolerance and prejudice, which must be changed. Many madrasas (Islamic schools) and mosques teach that non-Muslims are infidels, "kafir", feeding intolerance and violence. In order to change this mentality, efforts of inter-religious dialogue are urgent. Thanks to the commitment of many Catholic leaders we have started a dialogue of life with Muslims. We organize meetings and events to show how much we have in common. These words and gestures have an impact on society. We will continue to build bridges and to sow seeds that can sprout to change this mentality. "Even schools are experiencing strong prejudice against minorities in school curricula and textbooks. We are working to change these schools texts: the important thing is to always be in dialogue with civil and religious leaders", he concludes. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 28/07/2014)