LAHORE - Catholic Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue (CCIDE) chairman Bishop Dr Andrew Francis, who is also vice president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishop Conference, has again appealed to all Churches in the country to pray for Rimsha Masih, a minor Christian girl who has been in detention in blasphemy case.
On Sunday, all Christians prayed for the minor girl after Sunday mass in different Churches. In a message on Sunday, Dr Francis said that the religious discrimination especially the case against the minor Christian girl had underscored the worsening situation for religious minorities in Pakistan. He asked the top government officials as well as religious scholars to address the growing religious intolerance in the society.
Dr Francis also said the Christian community was deeply concerned that the law continued to victimise innocent people especially religious minorities. “We have to work for peace and harmony instead of promoting intolerance and hate among the masses,” he said, adding the religious minorities should be protected in the country. He asked ulemas to promote tolerance and forgiveness.
Dr Francis said that every religion teaches peace, brotherhood and to promote tolerance. “We should have dialogue, understanding, cooperation, harmony and work to remove misunderstanding,” he said. “We have to create an atmosphere where everyone may have religious freedom,” he said.
Rimsha, a resident of Mehrabadia, a slum in the periphery of Sector G-11, was implicated in blasphemy by the police in Islamabad and arrested after lodging an FIR against her under Section 295-D on August 16, 2012 and sent her to jail on judicial remand on August 18.