Papal visit to Egypt and effective security measures at Easter in Pakistan appreciated


Lahore: May 8, 2017. (Fr. Inayat Bernard) The board members of Ecumenical Solidarity Committee Lahore met at St. Mary’s Gulberg for the following purposes. After lighting the peace candle, the members belonging to the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan, Church of Pakistan diocese of Raiwind and diocese of Lahore along with the Catholic Church appreciated the visit of Egypt by the Holy Father Pope Francis. He went to Egypt at such a critical time. The members said that it was a bold step by the Holy Father to assure the Christians that they are not alone but the faithful around the world are with them in solidarity to their deep grief. The prayers were said for the Egyptian Christian martyrs and it was prayed for their relatives that they may stand firm in their faith. Another point discussed in the board meeting was to condemn the hate material being telecast through different media channel of Pakistan and the print media. A resolution was made to draft a letter and present to the concerned owners of the channels especially Amar Mehmood; the owner of the Dunyia Channel. In addition, this hate wave will be brought to the notice of the higher authorities. A particular dram ARSHAD BAJI has demoralized the Christians in the country which depicts a low and humiliating status of the Pakistani Christians. Another point was to pray for the Christians around the world especially Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan as well. The recent killing of Mishal Khan in the University in Mardan due to false Blasphemy law was strongly condemned and justice was sought to stop the misuse of the Blasphemy law. On the sideline, Fr. Inayat Bernard said that the Blasphemy law has taken the lives of dozens and thousands of Muslims, Ahemdis, Christians and Hindus are in the jails. He said that we have been pointing our from 1986 that to stop the misuse of the 295 C Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) the investigation should be done by a higher police officer before registering the case and secondly the false accuser should also face the same mentality which the accused person has to face. It is sad, he noted, that Noreen Laghari confessed in the media after being arrested before Easter that she had planned to kill 50 to 60 Christians on the Easter day while Asia Bib has refused that she said any words against the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and she is in the jail while Noreen has been treated differently. All the members thanked the Punjab government for effective measures taken to provide security to the faithful in their churches on Easter day. It was prayed that the government and the Pakistan Army may succeed to do away with the terrorists working in Pakistan. The board members were Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap (Coordinator ESCL), Rev. Amjad Niamat of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. Rev. Shahid P.Mairaj of the Church of Pakistan diocese of Lahore. The three from the Church of Pakistan diocese of Raiwind included Rev. Emmanuel Khokhar, Rev. Saleem Khokhar and Rev.I.B.Rocky along with Fr. Inayat Bernard.

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