ASIA/PAKISTAN - Archbishop Shaw: "It is urgent to promote peace and harmony in Pakistan"

Tuesday, 9 January 2018 religious minorities   religious freedom   peace   justice   ecumenicalism   dialogue  


Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "Let us light the candle of peace, together with the hope to illuminate darkness and grow in faith. Let us pray so that this year may be full of peace, tolerance and solidarity among all religions": said Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, at the head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lahore, during his participation in an interfaith and inter-religious meeting organized by the National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism, organ of the Pakistani Episcopal Conference, in collaboration with the association and study of "Wave" Catholic multimedia production, operating in the diocese of Lahore.
As Fides learns, Archbishop Shaw, president of the Commission, in the presence of numerous Muslim and Christian religious leaders, as well as civil authorities and people from different communities, recalled that "patriotism is part of our identity as Christian citizens" and that "through inter-religious dialogue one walks on the path of coexistence". "The whole world is facing terrorism and there is bloodshed everywhere. In 2018 it will be our duty to promote interfaith peace and harmony so that reconciliation prevails in Pakistan and the world. We have to educate young people to be ambassadors of peace", he noted.
The Archbishop recalled Pope Francis’ message for World Day for Peace and reaffirmed the wish expressed by the Catholic Bishops of Pakistan for the new year, who invited the faithful and all citizens of good will to contribute to the growth of peace and harmony In Pakistan. "If there is peace in oneself, then there will be peace in families: peace in the family will make peace flourish in society: peace is God's way and we human beings are called to walk on this path", he recalled .
All the guests agreed, expressing the common commitment to contribute to building inter-religious harmony "of which there is a desperate need in Pakistan today".
Among the civil authorities, Saeed Elahi, President of the "Pakistan Red Crescent Society", appreciated the Christian education system and praised the efforts of inter-religious dialogue in Pakistan to build a peaceful society.
Speaking to Fides, Capuchin Fr. Francis Nadeem, Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Dialogue and Ecumenism, organizer of the meeting, remarked that "in Pakistan it is urgent to eliminate all forms of discrimination and hatred from families, society and the country and it is necessary to cultivate the seeds of peace, tolerance and harmony". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 9/1/2018)