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Lahore – “We recalled the message of fraternity launched by Pope Francis and stressed the need for peace in the world. We have committed ourselves together, Christians and Muslims, to continue the mission of peace, harmony and solidarity in order to make Pakistan a better place to live in. I hope this gathering and this pilgrimage will serve to promote genuine peace between Pakistan and India”. This is what Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw told Agenzia Fides at the conclusion of a gathering and an inter-religious march for the peace that has reached in recent days Kasur, on the border between India and Pakistan, to the village of Ganda Singh, right on the border, where there was a solemn prayer ceremony for peace.
The initiative was organized by the National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism, in the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan, and saw the participation of Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, at the head of the community in Lahore and numerous Muslim religious leaders. The Archbishop led the procession from the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore to Ganda Singh: the aim was to send and promote a message of peace and harmony, especially between Pakistan and India. As reported to Fides by Capuchin friar Fr. Francis Nadeem, Executive Secretary of the Commission, the initiative is part of the activities planned in Pakistan to commemorate the meeting of St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt, which took place 800 years ago, and also in response to the recent Islamic-Christian meeting of Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi.
A celebration of prayer took place at the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Lahore, and there the religious leaders present planted an olive tree in the garden, as a symbol of peace. The procession, entitled “Together for Peace”, held on 11 February, was attended by faithful Christians and Muslims who welcomed the initiative.
Once in Kasur, those present marched with lit candles, reciting together a special prayer for peace between Pakistan and India. “We want to be ambassadors of peace to support the harmony between the different religions and the different peoples of the world”, said Fr. Nadeem.