ASIA/PAKISTAN - Seminar on Dialogue: "Religious difference adds color to the service of humanity"

Friday, 6 December 2019 dialogue   human rights   islam   religious minorities  

Multan (Agenzia Fides) - "Diversity is part of the universe. We people of different religions are like a bunch of flowers and planets in the universe. Diversity adds colors to the beauty of the universe. This difference makes life beautiful. A similar difference in religions adds color to the service of humanity". This is what Professor Abdul Majid Watto, professor of Islam said during his participation in recent days at the Seminar on interreligious dialogue organized at the Pastoral Institute of Multan by the Commission for interreligious dialogue and ecumenism of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan. The President of the Commission, Bishop Sebastian
Shaw, and Executive Secretary Fr. Francis Nadeem were present, as well as scholars, professors, imams, Muslim and Christian religious leaders.
Muslim leaders recalled experiences of daily life in Pakistan, characterized by the kindness and benevolence between the two communities, and spoke of the issue of minority rights. Allama Saeed Mahmood said: "Let us not allow anyone to erect the wall of hatred". Dominican Fr. Albert Jamshed recalled the document "Nostra Aetate" of the Second Vatican Council which teaches us to respect all religions, especially monotheistic ones.
Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw condemned the recent incident of contempt of the Koran in Norway, noting: "Jesus says he loves his neighbor and also his enemies. He who performs sacrilegious acts cannot be a follower of Christ because the message of Jesus is peace and love".
Peer Anwar Sidaq began his speech with a poem that expressed the yearning for unity: "We worship one God and we must not be separated", he said, invoking respect for human rights and recalling: "The true presence of God is in the heart of human beings".
In conclusion, Fr. Nadeem Francis OFM Cap affirmed the urgency of "raising one’s voice for the rights of justice and equality of all citizens, be they Christians and Muslims". And Archbishop Shaw, praised the role of the Pastoral Institute of Multan, which is important for the promotion of peace and dialogue. "Multan is called the city of saints, there is always peace in this land: we pray for peace to be in all of Pakistan". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 6/12/2019)