Bishop urges inter-religion understanding. By Abbas kassar
HYDERABAD, February 12, 2006 : Christian leader Rafiq Masih Bishop of Hyderabad Diocese Church of Pakistan has urged upon leaders of all big religions for understanding
and asked them to play their role for ending cold war among civilizations. He was addressing news conference at press club here on Sunday. He said that the Christian community was loyal to country as they were born on this land. He said the Christians
had voted for creation of Pakistan and given tremendous sacrifices in making it. He said they consider publication of blasphemous caricature in newspapers of Europe including Denmark as wrong and aimed to provoking religious sentiments of Muslims. He
said the proof of which was their role during Pakistanâ€™s wars with India. The other proof was that majority of rulers was educated from Christian educational institutions. Bishop Rafiq Masih said the publication of cartoon in Danish newspaper has provoked the sentiments of Muslims all over world. He said â€œ we Pakistani Christians condemn such
publication because we consider it as conspiracy against international peace and security. We record our protest and demand from Pakistan government to ban such provocative publication so as to promote religious tolerance and sanctity of religions.
He said Muslims have right to demonstrate their protest. But he said to resort to arson and to damage the properties of Christians through unlawful activities was also wrong. He said he wants to tell these extremists that the places of worship and other properties of Christians which they have damaged were not properties of Denamrk, France, Germany or any other European country but these were properties of Pakistan and their loss was loss of Pakistan. He said the arson, loot and killing was not the way of expressing religious anger. He prayed for patience.
He said â€œ we all Pakistanis can express our anger through boycotting the products and by social boycott of these countries. He made appeal to all religious organizations,
intellectuals and media to play their active role in ending the cold war between
civilizations to work for understanding betweenreligions so as to make the world stronghold of peace.
The Bishop did not provide details of violence againsthis Church by the religious activists but it was witnessed that the activists of Mutehida Majlis Amal (
conglomeration of 6 religious parties in Pakistan) had thrown stones to Church building situated on Tilk Incline area of Hyderabad city on Friday during their rally. They had also erected hindrance to entrance of the Church.