By ZENIT Staff

Visiting a madrasa (Koranic school) and the department of Islamic studies of a university faculty in Multan: this is the special mission accomplished in recent days by Mgr. Sebastian Shaw, Catholic Archbishop of Lahore and President of the Bishops’ Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, reported Fides News Agency. Accompanied by a delegation of Dominican religious, including Fr. Jamshed Albert OP, Fr. Raphael Mahenga OP and Fr. Jamshed Gill OP, the Franciscan, Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Capp, Executive Secretary of the Bishops’ Commission, and other participants in the mini-pilgrimage, the archbishop went to the madrasa where he met the imam and the students. After an exchange of greetings and mutual appreciation, at the end of the meeting an olive tree was planted in the compound of the madrasa and all those present recited together the prayer “God, give me the instrument of your peace”, attributed to Francis of Assisi, as a sign of unity between Christians and Muslims, a desire reiterated by all.

The delegation then moved to the Baha Ul Din Zikria University in Multan, visiting the Department of Islamic Studies, where a meeting was held with the professors of the Department, with an exchange of views on the path of unity and harmony among Christians and Muslims, respecting each other’s differences. Mr. Jamil Nataqani, at the head of the Department of Islamic Studies, and other professors expressed their joy by welcoming the Christian representatives. Archbishop Sebastian Shaw spoke and donated the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living” signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis together with Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyebad i, translated into Urdu, calling for collaboration for peace at a universal level. At the conclusion of the fruitful debate, an olive tree was also planted in the Department of Islamic Studies, as “a sacred sign of the common commitment to dialogue, peace, and reconciliation among Christians and Muslims”.

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