Pakistani Bishops Focusing on Peace in 2003

LAHORE, Pakistan, JAN. 8, 2003 ( The Pakistani Catholic bishops’ Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism has declared 2003 a National Year of Peace.

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Father Francis Nadeem, commission secretary, told Vatican Radio that the bishops’ objective is that «all citizens who really love the country join this sensitizing campaign and collaborate in the development, salvation and unity of the country.»

On the agenda this year are interreligious meetings, religious festivals, literary courses and other events centered on peace and dialogue.

The bishops’ commission will work in the production of television and radio programs on this topic, which are of critical importance in post-Sept. 11 Pakistan.

The commission also hopes to organize a visit to the relatives of victims of the anti-Christian terrorist attacks in Bahawalpur, Islamabad, Murree, Taxila and Daska City. In the latter, an attack took place on Christmas Day.

Several Muslim leaders have applauded the bishops’ initiative. Pakistan is 97% Muslim.

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