Pakistani Catholic Priest and Imam Honored for Fostering Interreligious Harmony

The African chapter of a global grassroots interfaith network for peace and justice has honored a ‎Catholic priest and an imam from Pakistan for their efforts toward interreligious harmony.
Dominican ‎priest Father James Channan and Abdul Khabir Azad, the great Imam of the royal mosque in Lahore, ‎one of the largest in Asia, have been given the “Award for Interreligious Harmony” 2017 by the ‎African branch of United Religions Initiative (URI). The two were held up as models to the entire African continent for interreligious ‎harmony in daily work.
‎"It is a recognition of the work to promote interreligious dialogue in Pakistan and around the world and ‎to promote a culture of peace, justice, reconciliation and dialogue,” Fr Channan told the Vatican’s ‎Fides news agency. Fr Channan who is URI Regional Coordinator for Pakistan and Executive ‎Director of Peace Center, Lahore said that “recognitions like this feed the courage and daily work in ‎order to break the walls of hatred between Christians and Muslims, and to build bridges of trust and ‎respect".
Fr Channan and Abdul Khabir Azad have been working together for over 20 years. The two ‎have visited numerous countries in the world to promote Islamic-Christian dialogue. "I thank God for ‎the gift of my vocation to priesthood and to the Dominican Order because it gives me the opportunity ‎to work for this important apostolate in Pakistan and around the world. I thank the Dominican Order ‎because it supports every step in this field" Fr Channansaid.‎
In the current situation of violence and terrorism in Pakistan, Fr Channan reaffirmed his commitment to ‎‎"promote, with all men and women of goodwill, peace, justice and harmony to make Pakistan a better ‎country in which all citizens, of any religion, can live peacefully". (Source Fides)‎



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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