Tuesday, March 21, 2017

PAKISTAN - Africa awards a priest and a Pakistani imam for interreligious harmony

An award for how interreligious harmony is carried out in daily work, a work that is an example for the entire African continent: with these reasons the African section of the "United Religions Initiative" international organization has given the "Award for Interreligious Harmony" 2017 to Dominican priest James Channan and Abdul Khabir Azad, great Imam of the royal mosque in Lahore, one of the largest in Asia.

Speaking to Fides, Fr. James says: "It is a recognition of the work to promote interreligious dialogue in Pakistan and around the world and to promote a culture of peace, justice, reconciliation and dialogue. Recognitions like this feed the courage and daily work in order to break the walls of hatred between Christians and Muslims, and to build bridges of trust and respect". 

Fr. Channan, who is director of the "Peace Center" in Lahore and regional coordinator for South Asia of the United Religions Initiative organization, has been working closely with Abdul Khabir Azad for over 20 years. The two have visited numerous countries in the world to promote Islamic-Christian dialogue. 

"I thank God for the gift of my vocation to priesthood and to the Dominican Order because it gives me the opportunity to work for this important apostolate in Pakistan and around the world. I thank the Dominican Order because it supports every step in this field" says Fr. Channan

On the current situation of Pakistan, marred by terrorism, Fr. Channan reaffirms his commitment to "promote, with all men and women of good will, peace, justice, harmony to make Pakistan a better country in which all citizens, of any religion, can live peacefully".

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