07/27/2006, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Muslims hear Pope's appeal and pray for peace

Together Christians and Muslims take part in an inter-faith prayer for Lebanon in Lahore. Passages from the Qur'an and the Gospels were read.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – Christians and Mulsims heard the Pope's appeal and prayed together for peace in Lebanon. Organised by the Milap Organisation, the inter-faith prayer service was held in Lahore yesterday rather than on last Sunday as Benedict XVI had asked to enable Muslim believers to take part.

A young Muslim man, Asif Khan, introduced the moment of prayer with a short synopsis of the situation in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine and an explanation as to why war broke out.

"Let us pray from the bottom of our hearts for peace in that region in response to the Pope's call," he said. Aftewards, the many children present sang hymns for peace.

Next the participants took to the roof top of Milap's headquarteres where the elder of the group, Chaudry Shafiq, lighted a big candle followed by the others each lighting his or her own.

A young man read passages from the Qur'an, and a pastor read some from the Gospels. The Christian clergyman also spoke about peace in the world, in Israel and Lebanon, in families and within each one of us.

Finally, in a prayer read out loud, some of the faithful called on the Lord to grant them their wishes.
In her address to the gathering, Milap Director Margaret Piara slammed human selfishness which sees man kill his fellow man and which does not spare children whom Jesus defended when he said: "Let the little ones come to me".

"We say our prayer so that peace may rule the world and the international community play a vital role in solving the crisis," she said.

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