05/25/2020, 12.40
PAKISTAN – ISLAM
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Faisalabad: the end of Ramadan, an opportunity for Muslim-Christian encounter and dialogue

by Shafique Khokhar

For Eid al-Fit, Bishop Indrias Rehmat paid tribute to the city's political and religious leaders. The holiday can “bring us closer and give us the opportunity to sit together and think". In recent weeks interreligious prayers were held seeking the end of the coronavirus pandemic. The celebration embodied a message of brotherhood, peace, love, and coexistence.

 

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and prayer, was held yesterday in Pakistan.

For Bishop Indrias Rehmat of Faisalabad (Punjab), it was a time to be “united” as citizens of Pakistan, to share the joy and happiness that come from an event that is both “religious holy day as well as a cultural event.” For the prelate, “Such festivals bring us closer and give us the opportunity to sit together and think about others who are in need.”

Over the weekend, the bishop visited several Muslim clerics and political officials in Faisalabad. He was accompanied by the Vicar General, Fr Abid Tanvir, the director of the Commission for interreligious dialogue Fr Pascal Poolus and the director of the local chapter of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), Fr Khalid Rashid.

In the various meetings, the Christian delegation presented cakes, tributes for the feast and the special message of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, issued by the Holy See Press Office at the start of Ramadan.

The Catholic delegation met with local Muslim clerics, including Maulana Pir Ibrahim Sialvi, Mulana Yousaf Anwar, and Mulana Zahid Mahmood Qasami, who play a pivotal role in interfaith dialogue and harmony in Faisalabad.

“Through the Eid al-Fitr, we want to spread a message of brotherhood, peace, love, coexistence among all communities in Pakistan,” said Bishop Rehmat, adding that “we all pray for the country and the world so that we can get rid of the pandemic.”

During Ramadan, the bishop and Muslim leaders joined together to invoke the end of the COVID-19 emergency. During their meetings, the parties explored issues and thoughts related to the document on human brotherhood signed last year in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyeb.

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