Lahore: April 22, 2017. (PCP) Leaders of main line churches of Lahore got together under the banner of Council for Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenical Solidarity Committee Lahore to congratulate and thank all the security agencies who provided untiring security measures during the Easter celebrations throughout Lahore
The press conference was presided over by His Excellency Bishop Samuel Azariah (Moderator Church of Pakistan, Raiwind Diocese). In his introduction Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap (coordinator CFID/ESCL gave a brief description of the purpose of the conference. He thanked Inspector General of Punjab police Captain Muhammad Usman Khatak , CCPO Lahore; Captain Muhammad Ameen Wains, all the DPO,s and SHO,s who took keen interest in applying an effective security plan during the Easter celebrations in all the churches, parks and other public places.
The Christian leaders cited the management of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in promotion of Peace and harmony. The leaders also admired the continuing military operation against terrorism.
A few concerns were highlight by Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap ; the coordinator of CFID and ESCL. First, .as compared to the Islamic Feast Days, when the electricity is provided without any interruption, the load shedding duration of electricity in the days of Holy Week celebrations exceeded the normal duration. Secondly; Good Friday is an important day for Christians, but many of them remained deprived of the blessing to attend the holy services of this day because they are not given holiday at their working places. A public holiday should be declared on Good Friday every year. Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap stressed upon observing the same security measures in future as well.
The press conference ended with a common prayer led by His Excellency Bishop Samuel Ezraya (Moderator Church of Pakistan, Raiwind Diocese) for the promotion of Peace, brotherhood and tolerance in the country.
Among the leaders of different churches who were present in the conference were: Rev. Fr. Inayat Bernard (Secretary ECSL), Rev. Fr. Samson Dilawar, Rev. Shahid P. Mehraj, Rev. Emmanuel Khokher, Rev. Saleem Khokher, Rev. Amjad Niamat, Rev. Edgar Irfan, Rev. Aamir Sunil, Nauman Raus, Rev. Hanook Haq, Rev. Robin Qamar, Rev. Amir Naveed, Rev. Shahzada Khurram and Rev. Irshad Ashknaz.