Lahore, imams and priests lead a vigil for Easter attack victims
Gathered at the Dominicans Peace Centre, the religious leaders underline the terrorist and non-religious nature of the attack. The victims are 76, of which 17 Christians. The importance of staying united: "This violence seeks to spark new sectarian clashes, but we can stop them. We are not afraid of them".
Lahore (AsiaNews) - Muslim and Catholic religious leaders, came together to lead an interfaith vigil in memory of the 76 victims of the Easter attack. Hafiz Muhammad Nauman of the World Council of Religions told gathering of nuns and Christian activists this weekend (April 2) that "we always blame each her every time terror strikes the nation. Every Muslim who joins a terror group does not belong to our religion anymore. Terrorists are our common enemy; their religion is terrorism, not Islam. When they kill, they don't draw a line between Christian and Muslim victims”.
Nauman was among several clerics who addressed the Interfaith Memorial Service at Dominican Peace Center in Lahore. The speakers paid tribute to the victims of the March 27 suicide bombing that targeted Christians gathered for Easter in Lahore.
Psalms of sadness punctuated the program that started with recitation of Bible and Koran and concluded with lighting of candles in the memory of bomb victims.
A Muslim professor blamed ignorance and illiteracy for infecting young minds with fanaticism. "We have nothing to say but broken words. If you can't make this world heaven, there is no other. Religion is meant to be acted upon, not used for killing people. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and Islam also teaches brotherhood", he said.
According to Church sources, 17 Christians died and others remain in critical conditions in the hospitals. Fr. James Channan, director of the Peace center read out the names of all victims and demanded compensation for the affected families
"The attack on Easter is a conspiracy to spark sectarian fighting in the country but the religious leaders are united against terrorism. It is time to step outside; interfaith rallies on the streets can discourage the militants. We are not afraid of them", he said lauding clerics for observing a Day of Prayer in all the mosques this Friday. The Muslim speakers also announced a Day of Tolerance on Friday, April 8.