Fr James Channan, OP honored with African Interfaith Harmon Award
A Pakistani Dominican friar, Fr James Channan, OP, Director of Peace Center Lahore, Pakistan and Regional Coordinator of URI for Asia-Pakistan, was honored with the “African Interfaith Harmony Award of the Year” in a beautiful ceremony which was organized in a local hotel in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina on 15th of September, 2017. He was selected for this prestigious award by the United Religions Initiative (URI), Africa.
The announcement of this international award was made by Ambassador, Dr. Mussie Hailu, Regional Director of URI (United Religions Initiative) for Africa and Representative of URI at African Union Countries (AUC) and UN Office in Africa. Fr James Channan OP won this award as written on the award plaque, ”In recognition of the ongoing great contribution in promoting interfaith harmony and peaceful co-existence among followers of different religions in Pakistan and other parts of the world and for setting a good example as religious leader in addressing counter violent extremism and enhancing inter-religious constructive dialogue and cooperation for the common good of all based on the teaching of the Golden Rule.”
The beautiful award was jointly presented to him by His Grace, John Baptist, Odama, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Gulu, Uganda, Ambassador Dr. Mussie Hailu, Ethiopia, Ms. Rattan Kaur Channa, Kenya, Ms. Despina Namwembe, Uganda, Honorable Alisha Buba Yero, Nigeria and Ms. Karnen Barensche from South Africa. At the ceremony there were over 100 leaders of URI from around the world who had come to Sarajevo for the Global Leaders Gathering of URI. These leaders were from different religions such as: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Bahaism and several tribal religions.
Fr James Channan is well-known and recognized for his untiring work in promoting peace, harmony and dialogue among the believers of different religions, especially in Pakistan which is confronted with many challenges such as of violence, terrorism, extremism and discrimination in the name of religion. In his opinion to establish lasting peace, reconciliation, justice and cultures of peace it is of prime importance to have dialogue among people of different religions. And religions can play imperative role in bringing reconciliation, respect for all and discrimination towards none. Our religions also teach us love every human being and respect them. Each one of us must build bridges of love, peace, respect for all the break the walls of hatred, violence and non acceptance. For lasting peace in the world is of prime importance that we act upon the teachings of religions and especially the Golden Rule which is taught by all religions and by our Lord Jesus Christ who said;
“In Everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7.12)
Fr Channan said that he will keep on contributing his best for the very important mission of the Church which is interreligious dialogue, and it is also one of the main priority of the Dominican Order around the globe. The international organization of URI is also working hard in 102 countries to promote harmony and good will among people of all religions, cultures. Interreligious dialogue and respect among the followers of all religions can bring a very significant and positive change in the world. The time has come that we act upon those teachings and values in different religions which unite us rather than which divide us.