Together we can face the challenges of prevailing atheism, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw
(Nov.29, 2019 Shahbaz Francis- Multan): Diocesan commission Multan for Inter-religious Dialogue & Ecumenism (Catholic Bishops Conference Pakistan) organized a seminar on Interfaith Dialogue on 28 November 2019 at Pastoral Institute Multan. Chairman His Excellency Archbishop Sebastian Shaw and Executive Secretory Fr. Nadeem Francis, of National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue & Ecumenism, were the chief guests of the program. Thirty people, scholars, Clerics professors, Imams, Allamas (from Muslims and Christian community), of different sects participated in the seminar.
Fr. Jamshed Albert OP, diocesan Director welcomed the guests and introduced the purpose of the program. In the beginning Fr. Raphael Mehanga OP said prayer for the unity among religions and peace and harmony in the country.
Allama Saeed Mahmood said that we do not let anyone erect wall of hatred. We do protest against Blasphemy issues but we always protect peace and harmony by protecting minority. He said that Christian leaders should become voice against blasphemous activities.
Fr. Jamshed Albert OP referring to Nostra aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council said that our religion teaches us to give respect to the all religions especially to Islam who also believe in one God. He further said that we condemned immoral sketches made to profane the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and the first press conference of condemnation was led by Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw at recent incident of attempting of burning of Quran in Kristiansand, Norway. Jesus says love your neighbor and love even your enemies. The one who do sacrilegious acts cannot be follower of Christ because the message of Jesus is peace and love.
Fr. Nadeem Francis OFM Cap said that we raise our voice for the rights of justice and equality. We stand for the Justice for the Christian community and as well as for the Muslim people who are deprived of their rights and unjustly targeted. Along with Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw we work for the promotion of peace. In Lahore we Muslims and Christian work together for peace.
In his address, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, Chairman National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism said “Jesus says blessed are the peace-makers”. He also quoted that in Quran it is said the murder of one man is murder of whole humanity. This is no more time to humiliate or fight against each other religion. Archbishop said, “This is time to be united and to face the challenges of prevailing atheism”.
“In Europe there are 43 percent atheists according to the survey held in the last decade. On 4th February Pope Francis and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met in Abu Dhabi and prayed for the universal brotherhood and peace”, he continued.
“I appreciate the struggles of Pastoral Institute Multan who played a great role for the promotion of peace and interfaith dialogue bore the fruit that no extremist activity has affected the peace in Multan is really. Multan is called the city of saints and always there is peace in the land and he prayed that in future also this peace may continue to prevail. At the end of seminar the peace prayer of St. Francis Assisi was recited together”, he ended.