Pakistani Catholic priest and imam honoured for interreligious harmony

2017-03-18 Vatican Radio

The African chapter of a global grassroots interfaith network for peace and justice has honoured 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 active 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 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. Channan said.‎

In the current situation of violence and terrorism in Pakistan, Fr. Channan reaffirmed his commitment to ‎‎"promote, with all men and women of good will, peace, justice and harmony to make Pakistan a better ‎country in which all citizens, of any religion, can live peacefully".  (Source: Fides)‎

(from Vatican Radio)