Pakistan honors priest for promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue
A Catholic priest has been honored by the Pakistan government for his “exemplary services” to promote interfaith harmony and peace in his own country and worldwide.
Father James Channan, a Dominican who has spent 50 years following the spirituality of St. Dominic, received an award at the Interfaith Conference 2019 in Lahore on May 17 that was attended by more than 300 people including Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs.
Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Pakistan’s federal minister for religious affairs and interfaith harmony, presented the award. “Many people helped me to reach this place. I praise God, the Church, my community of Ibn-e-Mariam Vice Province of Pakistan, and all my friends,” said Father Channan.
“I especially thank my Muslim friends who always supported me and my work and keep on appreciating me to continue my mission to promote peace and harmony among the people of Pakistan. “I am actively serving in this mission to build bridges between Christians and the people of other religions, especially with our Muslim brethren, but still I see there is an urgent need for interfaith dialogue.”
Father Channan said his work to promote peace and interfaith harmony brings him peace and mental satisfaction. “I keep on thinking about ways to bring people of various faiths together, to help them to nurture and strengthen peace among them,” he said. “Everybody is my neighbor, and being a follower of Jesus Christ I have to love everybody — it keeps me motivated and zealous. We always have to share this message that we are one human family, following different religions and faiths but living our faiths we have to promote love, unity and peace.”
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Photo: Father James Channan (right) with Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Pakistan’s federal minister for religious affairs and interfaith harmony, at the Interfaith Conference. (Photo courtesy of Father Channan)