(AsiaNews) - More than 40 people, including several prominent Muslims, took
part in a seminar on the 'Concept of God in Christianity'. The purpose of the
gathering was to improve understanding of Christian traditions and promote tangible
ways to build "bridges of peace" between Pakistan's Muslim and Christian
communities. Participant received a copy of the Bible as a gift. Held in Multan
(Punjab) on 12-15 June, the three-day initiative came from Asher William, director
of a Christian organisation, Pakistan Outreach, that promotes interreligious dialogue,
social harmony and the word of God.
was a wonderful, historical and a landmark day in my life," Williams told AsiaNews. It is "difficult to explain my
feelings in words, the joyfulness of the moment when I gave 15 copies of the
Holy Bible to Muslim clerics and individuals. I praise the Lord for this
extraordinary blessing. I will never forget this day."
'Promoting Social Harmony and Peace,' the seminar brought together Christians,
Muslims and Hindus. For Williams, the goal was that of building bridges between
communities and contributing to the birth of a society "based on equality and
non-violence, free from discriminations."
prominent Muslims, Al-Haaj Tahir Abas Naqvi and Ejaz Mehmood, took part in the
event. Both received a copy of the Bible (pictured).
the Holy Bible in my hands was an amazing experience and a memorable day in my
life," said Naqvi, a Muslim cleric and Islamic scholar honoured with the title
of al-Haaj bestowed upon those who have made the pilgrimage (the Haaj) to Makkah,
a city he has already visited twice. "I will definitely read it and ask for blessings
for my family".
acknowledged that in the past he held inaccurate ideas about Christians in
Pakistan. "I thought they were against Islam and Pakistan," he told AsiaNews. However, "I met friendly,
loving and committed citizens," especially in the fields of education and
Ejaz Mehmood, an Islamic religious scholar, urged Pakistan's "two main
communities," Muslims and Christians, to "live in peace."
blames the government for introducing rules and laws that he defines as
discriminatory against religious minorities, and the cause of many problems
that exist today in Pakistani society.
Mehmood, learning about the "Concept of God in Christianity," which was the
topic of the seminar, "was a significant experience because of the parallels
between the Bible and the Qur'an."
meeting was also useful because it changed his perceptions about Christians and
gave him an opportunity to find inspiration in "the teachings and practices of