Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "The mercy in Christianity and Islam" is the title of a seminar organized in Lahore, on the occasion of the Jubilee Year, by the "Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Pakistan", coordinated by Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap, and led by Islamist leader Sufi Pir Shafaat Rasool. The seminar, held in recent weeks, focused on the common values present in Islam and Christianity.
As reported to Fides by the Council, Fr. Qaisar Feroz, among the Christian leaders who intervened, quoted several passages from the Old and New Testaments on mercy, recalling that "God is merciful and wants us to be merciful". While we focus too often on facts that "fuel hatred and differences, there is a dire need to create situations of peace, tolerance, forgiveness and mercy", he said, noting that "the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis is of utmost importance for the whole world", and is "an invitation to building a culture of mercy, common value for Islam and Christianity".
Pir Shafaat Rasool then described the perspective of Islam on Mercy, referring to several verses of the Koran. "No one has the right to forcibly convert a believer of another religion", he said. "Mercy is the only channel that attracts a human being to embrace a religion", recalling that Islam and Christianity have a common origin. "Mercy is the key factor in both religions and listening to the call of Pope Francis, we must spread mercy in our society", he concluded.
These Muslim speakers expressed great appreciation for the gesture of Pope Francis to celebrate 2016 as "Year of Mercy", hoping that this helps to promote inter-religious harmony and eradicate extremism from the hearts. "We will continue to spread the message of Mercy in Pakistan, hoping that peace will prevail in our society". The participants unanimously passed a resolution that asks religious leaders, politicians, educators and the media, to help promote values such as mercy, forgiveness and tolerance, by appealing to followers of all religions to spread the message of peace and harmony. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/05/2016)