Pakistan: Interfaith Dialogue Eases Tensions

A Catholic leader in Pakistan has praised interfaith dialogue meetings for lifting tensions in the region – and even helping diffuse a blasphemy allegation.

Different religious communities are living in greater harmony in Sindh Province in south-east Pakistan than in other regions, according to Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad.

Bishop Shukardin launched the area’s first interfaith dialogue meetings, which are now organised by Fr Shahzad Khokhar, a Franciscan friar and project partner of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Bishop Shukardin told ACN that the participation of faith leaders and laypeople from all the major religious traditions – Sikh, Shia, Sunni, Hindu and Christian – in the meetings is significant. Gazi Salahuddin John, a Shia Muslim who regularly attends the meetings, single-handedly stopped a mob targeting a local Hindu family accused of blasphemy in March this year.

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