Celebration of International Day of Peace - Sustainable Peace for A Sustainable Future

International Day of Peace 2012 was celebrated on 23rd September at Peace center, Lahore, Pakistan. The actual date of this day as declared by the United Nation as is 21st of September. However, we postponed due to the law and order situation in Pakistan. It was presided over by his Excellency Bishop Sebastian Shaw, OFM Apostolic Administrator. Archdiocese of Lahore, Mr. Akram Masih Gill, Minister of State for National Harmony , Government of Pakistan graced occasion as the Chief Guest.

Despite Protests, URI Pakistan Celebrates Peace Day

The Guests of Honor were Allama Zubair Abid, Chairman Peace and Harmony Network, Ch. Zubair Ahmed Farooq, Mr. Nasir Mehmmod Saleemi , Newly elected URI Global Trustees and Mr. Suhail Ahmed Raza, Director  Interfaith Relation, Minhaj-Ul-Quran. Around 150 people including, women, youth and children of Christian, Muslim and Bahai Communities participated. The program was jointly organized by United Religions Initiative Pakistan, Dominican Peace Center Lahore, National Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Catholic Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism and Universal Peace and  Harmony Inter-Religious Forum.


International Pace Day Message of Bank Ki-Moon, UN General Secretary was read by Sr.Genevieve Ram Lal. The theme of the message was Sustainable Peace for A Sustainable Future.


Fr. James Channan OP, URI Regional Coordinator and Director Peace Center welcomed all the honorable guests and participants, introduced the dignitaries and told the history of International Day of Peace. He said this day was announced as International Day of Peace in 1981 by the UN. He appreciated Mr. Akram Masih Gill, Minister of State for National Harmony, Government of Pakistan who has a strong political back ground. His Government has approved 5 percent quota for work for minorities in federal services and reserved 4 seats in the Senate, and dedicated 11 August as Minorities Day in Pakistan. He is doing a lot of development work for minorities. He told that URI is working in 80 countries, its 550 cooperation circles all over the world are creating and struggling for peace, justice and interfaith harmony. He also thanked Bishop Sebastian Shaw, OFM Apostolic Administrator, Archdiocese of Lahore. MR. Akram Masih Gill said 


I am really honored to be a part of this historic celebration of International Day of Peace at Peace Center. I congratulate the organizers of the event who made possible such celebration in a very violent situation. You all who are present here are peace lover. Our Government is very serious in promoting dialogue among religions. 


That is why the National Harmony Ministry was established. We are establishing committees in provinces and cities. He also announced and gave peace Awards 2012 from the government of Pakistan to Fr James Channan OP, Fr. Francis Nadeem,


Mr. Javaid William  and   Rev. Dr. Marcus Fida. Bishop Sebastian Shaw OFM said that all program is arranged in an impressive way and I congratulate to the organizers of this great event. The ety and we have put our own share and speakers spoke for peaceful society and we have put our own share and contribution for peace and love in the society as peace begin with us . In the current situation of country the peace lovers are facing so many challenges . Such celebrations give a good impact to the world. “Sustainable Peace for A Sustainable Future. God bless you all! Two newly URI Global Trustees elected from Pakistan were garlanded.


St. Joseph’s Church Choir sung very moving peace songs.


Ch. Zubair Ahmed Farooq and Mr. Nasir Mehmood Saleemi expressed that is a great honor for them that they were elected as Global Trustees from Asia. They thanked all the CC’s who cast the vote for them. They expressed to do their level best to create more harmonious environment in Pakistan.


Miss Shumila Bhatti, Coordinator Youth Peace Revolution-CC read out the peace quotes and gave presentation on multimedia which was appreciated by the audience.


A peace song was sung by Mr. Alexander Rattan from the Book of Revelation. Allama Zubair Abid, Mr. Javaid William, Rev. Dr. Marcus Fida and Mr. Suhail Ahmed Raza presented speeches at this event and appreciated this program and vowed to carry on such events. Rev. Dr. Marcus Fida recited a Peace poem from his recent publish book Amn ka Shirhr  (City of Peace). Mr. Yuel Bhatti, Executive Secretary, URI Pakistan was the Stage Secretary. 


Fr. Francis Nadeem extend vote of thanks to all participants. He gave a message to the religious leaders that they can play vital role to deliver the message of peace from the mosques, churches and temples. At the end delicious supper was offered to all.




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Peace Center is very important institution which is playing a significant role in spite of all the difficulties we are confronted with. A couple of Dominican Friars are active in Christian- Muslim dialogue and they are well known both nationally and internationally for promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue. It is top priority of the Dominican Order in the world and in Pakistan as well.
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