Pakistani Christians pray for the victims of religious intolerance. Responding to a call from the Archbishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, believers gathered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore to offer prayers for those persecuted in the name of religion.
Followed by fresh wave of persecution, Archbishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi Msg Joseph Arshad, who also occupies the office of President of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference urged all believers in Pakistan to pray for the victims of religious intolerance.
He had called for a day of prayer for peace and social harmony in the country. The National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism (NCIDE) responding to Msg. Joseph Arshad’s call organized a prayer service at Lahore’s Sacred Heart Cathedral on April 29 at 6 in the evening.
Addressing the congregants Chairman of National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism (NCIDE), and Archbishop of Lahore Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM mentioned the recent attacks on Pakistani Christians, explaining that men must fear God and respect other humans. This will ensure stability and social harmony in the country.
At the same time he offered prayers for those who had been targeted on religious basis, asking the Lord to bring peace and comfort to the families of the victims. He urged the Church to pray for the faith of the believers adding that those who suffer for the sake of their faith go through tremendous trauma.
Father Francis Nadeem, Executive Secretary of National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism (NCIDE) told the congregants that all men must have fear of God in their hearts at the same time respect humanity. He said that churches, mosques and temples must broadcast the lesson of respect for humanity. He thanked Father Inayat Bernard, rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral. The prayer service was hosted by Father Inayat Bernard and his catechists, Dominican sisters and the faithful.
Father Rafan Fayyaz read the scripture while the catechists sang psalms. The churchmen lit candles for the victims of the religious persecution. Reverend Shahid P. Mairaj Dean of the Cathedral of the Resurrection, offered starting prayer while the closing prayer was offered by Diocese of Raiwind’s Reverend Saleem Khokhar