Catholics in Pakistan

Building Bridges: The Role of the Church and the Bible in Supporting Immigrants and Refugees

This book “Building Bridges: The Role of the Church and the Bible in Supporting Immigrants and Refugees” offers a welcome reflection on the types and causes of migration, on the conditions, rights and duties of migrants and on the spiritual and pastoral aspects of migration. The author’s wish is that it may help its readers to do what is in their powers both to remove the causes of forced migration and to assist migrants and refugees to be welcome and successfully integrated in the countries that have become their new homes.

At present times, most of the people in the world have had the experience of leaving the place where they grew up. Maybe some only move as far as the next village or city. But for some people, they will need to leave their country sometimes for a short time, but sometimes forever. Every day, all over the world, people make one of the most difficult decisions in their lives: to leave their homes in search of a safer place and for a better life. There are many reasons why people around the globe seek to rebuild their lives in a different countries some people leave home to get a job or an education. The heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2241).

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Rev. Fr. Lazar Aslam, OFM Cap, has explored the issue through the lens of faith. He surely challenges readers to examine their own beliefs and actions in the context of one of the most pressing global issues of our time and become the voice of the suffering humanity. He hope that this book will be a valuable contribution to humanity and the society of today.

In recent times, the world has witnessed the challenges faced by refugees and displaced individuals and families. Fr. Lazar’s research aims to help the readers to understand and respect the shared humanity of people, irrespective of creed, color, or ethnic background. The book emphasizes the mission of the Church in building bridges among diverse communities, aligning with the principles of the Sacred Scriptures.

Fr. Lazar’s extensive experience in various missionary activities and interactions with diverse ethnic communities has motivated him to shed light on the urgent needs of displaced and homeless communities. This book not only enlightens readers on Biblical and Ecclesial teachings regarding refugees but also prompts reflection on our common homeland, where every human person deserves to live with dignity and respect.

This book invites the readers towards a special mission and commitment to the needy and the neglected. Presently the opportunities that are available for the rich are not accessible to the poor. In spite of hard work, the poor people are unable to improve their life due to several factors: under employment, low payment, delayed payments, exploitations with excess working hours, lack of security measures, no incentives, lack of family welfare measures, unsafe environment of jobs, lack of medical support to the migrant workers, lack of education of the children, unjust retirement benefits, accidents related concerns etc. While migrants are not organized to raise their voices in many situations, every person in the society individually and collectively has a duty to stand for the rights of the migrants and their families.

About the author

Fr. Lazar Aslam OFM Cap is a Roman Catholic priest belonging to the Order of the Franciscan Capuchin Friars in the Mariam Siddeeqa Capuchin General Custody in Pakistan. He has received a certificate in Franciscan spirituality from Pontifical University Antonianum, Rome. He has received certificates from various international courses such as “Religious Leadership,” “Franciscan Spirituality,” and “Religious Formation” in India, as well as a certificate in the course on World Religion and Ecology from Minhaj University Lahore. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Punjab University.

He has served as a formator and has provided pastoral services in various parishes and tribal areas. He is a writer who frequently contributes articles and reports to newsletters and magazines. An essential aspect of his work also involves catechizing Christian doctors, and nurses, ensuring they are equipped with a solid foundation of faith alongside their professional skills. He is also working as a human rights activist. He assists persecuted and affected Christians in the name of Jesus Christ. He arranges various programs and seminars to promote awareness of peace and interfaith harmony among different religions.

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