LAHORE: Christian-Muslim get together widely appreciated and welcomed all across the nation.
According to details, the Pontifical Council Bishop supports and appreciates the Christian-Muslim get together in Lahore. Fr. Inayat Bernard said, “Such events help us to come close to each other”. Bishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM; Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Lahore and the member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism met a delegation of around 60 Muslim and Christian guests. This get together was organized by the Council for Inter faith Dialogue (CIFD) at Ambassador Hall Lahore.
At this occasion, Bishop Sebastian Shaw said that,” Interfaith dialogue is an opportunity to know and appreciate one another. We are like a bouquet with different flowers having their own identity and fragrance.”
Fr. Pascal Paulus; OP the vice provincial of the Dominicans in Pakistan said,” It is a good sign that the Christian denominations are present here to be in solidarity with the Muslim brothers and sisters. We wish Muslims peace and tranquillity and pray for internal peace to promote humanity.”
Fr. James Chaman OP said that,” Such programmes help the Muslim brothers to come close to each other in prayer. It is our ardent wish that God Almighty may shower His grace through the regular prayer and fasting. Pope Francis I sent his message to the whole Muslim world. He has stressed the mutual respect among religions especially Muslims and Christians.”
Shabnam Nagi, a Muslim Advocate said that,” The gathering of today is the proof of oneness between the Christians and Muslims. The recent floods have made thousands of people homeless and they are in a disturbed situation and we do not forget them in this season. We are planning to set up tents and facilitate in the rehabilitation work.”
Maulana Javed Akbar Saqi said that,” As the Christians have extended their hand of brotherhood we shall also continue to show our respect on their religious occasions like Christmas and Easter.”
Core Commander of Pakistan Army Akbar Naqvi stationed at Lahore Cantt said,”I am grateful that I am invited for such a gathering. The founder of Pakistan has given equality to all religions in the country. The supporters and promoters of terrorism in the country cannot be Muslims. These negative activities cannot stop our peace process and living together in a harmonious way.”
Sohail Raza- youth coordinator of Minhaj-ul-Quran said,”To organize programmes are need of the time to promote tolerance and respect among religions. The Christians are number one in population and Muslims are on 2nd number. Faithful of both religions can work together for promotion of unity and understanding among themselves which is essential for world peace.”
Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap the central Coordinator of Council for Interfaith Dialogue showed appreciation and expressed gratitude to the guests and guaranteed the continuation of, “efforts to bring both the religions close to each other will go on.” He said,” The council makes use of occasions to show respect for other religions especially Muslims. In future the Muslim and Christian members of the council will continue to make efforts in their own capacity for mutual understanding among themselves.”
Towards the end of this programme Fr. Inayat Bernard, Director of CIFD read out in Urdu a message from Pope Francis; who in his message called for “mutual respect between Muslims and Christians.”