Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "Friar Francis Nadeem was the backbone of the mission of interreligious dialogue in Pakistan: after his death we feel orphaned, we hope and pray his legacy inspire many Christians and Muslims in this mission": says to Agenzia Fides Mufti Syed Ashiq Hussain, Muslim scholar and a friend of Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap, Provincial of the Capuchins in Pakistan and Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism who passed away in Lahore on 3 July.
"I worked with him in the last 17 years - notes Hussain - he was always very humble, dedicated to his mission. He never chased fame, he carried out his mission in silence, which was to spread love, peace and harmony among people of various faiths. He put all of himself to bring fraternity and unity among Christians and Muslims, he sensitized public and Islamic schools with a message of unity, reception and tolerance. He was twice honored by the President of Pakistan for his good work in strengthening peace and harmony".
Allama Muhammad Ahsan Siddiqui, Chairman of the Interfaith Commission for Peace and Harmony (ICPH) in a message sent to Fides, says: "He was a committed and zealous man, a great man and an excellent priest. He was a true ambassador of peace and a true patriot. Pakistan has lost a vibrant and dynamic personality. His death is a great loss for the cause of interreligious dialogue. His commitment to promoting dialogue and tolerance will always be remembered. We will do our best to continue that commitment".
Pastor Shahid Meraj of the "Church of Pakistan", part of the Anglican Communion, recalls Fr. Francis Nadeem as "a bridge of unity between Christians and people of other faiths". Fr. Pascal Robert OFM remembers him "always full of ideas, activities and projects to be implemented. He was a forward-looking leader", and quotes "an important book on the contribution of religious minorities to the development and progress of the country". Dominican Fr. Nadeem Joseph OP appreciates him "as a friar who, inspired by Francis of Assisi, followed in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, becoming an ambassador of peace and updating in his life the Prayer of St. Francis which says: Lord make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love ". (AG-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 6/7/2020)