Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh religious leaders who smile, embrace each other, pray together for peace, hope for harmonious coexistence in society, commit themselves against all forms of violence and terrorism: this is the climate that marked different meetings organized in recent days by the National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism in the Catholic Episcopal Conference of Pakistan, presided over by the Archbishop of Lahore, Francis Shaw.
As Executive Secretary of the Commission, Capuchin Fr. Francis Nadeem reported "it was extraordinary to see the leaders of different religions celebrate Christmas together, in a meeting hosted by a Muslim businessman, Anwar-ullha-khan, in his home in Lahore".
The different Muslim leaders present honoured the Christians, offering their best wishes for a holy Christmas, appreciated as "a gesture of brotherhood and generosity", which "intends to give all the faithful an example of friendly and fraternal relations among believers of different religions together committed for peace and for the common good of Pakistan", remarks to Fides Fr. Nadeem.
As Fides learns, another meeting of ecumenical nature, organized by the National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism, in partnership with the Ecumenical Solidarity Committee of Lahore was held in the Church of St. John in Lahore, and different Christian confessions existing in Pakistan took part, in the presence of numerous lay Christians and the mayor of Lahore, Mubashar Javed.
Proclaiming the birth of Christ through Christmas hymns, the assembly "wanted to renew the joy of Christmas", explains Nadeem. Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw recalled that "Jesus Christ is the light of the Word and we have the task of bringing this light into our hearts and homes".
Those present reiterated that Christians in Pakistan feel an integral part of the nation, to which they have always contributed with honesty and dedication, and have expressed their willingness to continue to commit themselves to building a society that rejects all forms of violence and pursues paths of dialogue, peace, justice and coexistence. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 5/1/2018)