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Religious intolerance is growing in Pakistan against minorities

Lahore: April 30, 2018. (PCP) The president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference Msg Dr. Joseph Arshad; the Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi diocese sent an appeal to all the faithful of Pakistan to pray for the victims of religious intolerance and at the same time to pray for the peace in Pakistan and social harmony.

In response to his invitation the National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism (NCIDE) organized a prayer service at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore at 06.00p.m.

At this moment the chairmen of the NCIDE Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM referred to the recent events of religious intolerance against the Christians and said that the human respect and fear of God has to take place to ensure stability and social harmony in the Country. He said prayer for the victims and asked the Lord for consolation for the family members. He also said that their suffering is enormous and we need to pray for their faithfulness day by day.

Retired Bishop Manu Ramal Shah of Peshawar said that these events of target killing of Quetta Christians make us hopeless. Though we are people of hope and we need to continue to pray for their release from the jails.

He said that these events unite us but we need to sit together more often for the interest of our people. He prayed for the deceased in the recent weeks that they may reach the paradise.

Fr. Francis Nadeem, the Executive Secretary of NCIDE while thanking highlighted that the fear of God and respect for humanity has to continue to be preached from the churches, mosques, mandirs and maybe replaced by tolerating each one’s religious beliefs.

He thanked the rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral Fr. Inayat Bernard who was the host of the prayer service along with his catechists, Dominican sisters and the selected faithful.

Church of Pakistan diocese of Lahore’s Dean of the Cathedral of the Resurrection Rev. Shahid P. Mairaj said an inaugural prayer while Church of Pakistan diocese of Raiwind’s Rev. Saleem Khokhar said the closing prayer.

Gospel reading was read by Fr. Rafan Fayyaz while the catechists led in singing the psalms and helped to light the candles for the victims.

Others who participated include Pastor I.B. Rocky of the Church of Pakistan diocese of Raiwind, Fr. Qaiser Feroz OFM Cap and Fr. Fayaz Rafic OFM Cap.