Unity among the main line churches is developing year after year, Archbishop Francis Sebastian Shaw said while addressing an assembly of more than 200 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore. Believers and leaders of different denominations had gathered in connection with the Unity Octave’s inaugural prayer service.
He told the congregants that Bishops were gathered in Rome and Canterbury. These gathering were attended by two clergymen from Pakistan, he said. He told the ecumenical gathering that it was a good sign that believers from several denominations have come together to pray for Christian unity. Archbishop said that the understanding and cooperation between denominations has strengthened in the past years. Archbishop Shaw prayed that may the unity between denominations may grow as believers continue to respect one another’s administrative structure.
Addressing the assembly, Bishop of Lahore Ifran Jamil from the Church of Pakistan talked about inter-denominational understand and harmony- calling all believers as ambassadors of Christ. He said that all believers have this honor of promoting peace and harmony among all nations of the world. He pointed to the fact that unity among churches in Pakistan was evident through prayer service being attended by believers from several denominations. He said that the efforts to promote this unity must continue.
Major Salamat Masih, Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army said that he could feel that if he was standing among the holy people. He said that it was his honor to address the gathering on the occasion of the Unity Octave organized by Ecumenical Solidarity Committee Lahore (ESCL). He said that there was need to organize more programs in order to strengthen the inter-denominational understanding.
Addressing the gathering Father Inayat Bernard said that all had gathered upon invitation of the Ecumenical Solidarity Committee and Council. He said that this service was held to promote interfaith dialogue during international unity Octave.
Reverend Shahid P. Mairaj, Dean of the Cathedral of Resurrection explained the assembly about the scheduled of the weekday unity octave programs. Rector of the Cathedral Father Jahanzeb Iqbal, while addressing the assembly welcomed church leaders from various denominations.
Other speakers included, Major Saleem Yousaf from the Salvation Army, Father Francis Nadeem OFM Cap, Sr. Tasneem Rehmat FTL, Capuchin seminarian Sheraz Tariq, Rev. Salim Khokhar, Father Zafar Tanveer, Bishop Azad Marshal and others.