(2005 World Peace Prayer Society Report)
Fr James Channan OP, Multan
Greetings of peace from Pakistan!
It was such a wonderful experience to celebrate the International Day of Peace for the entire day of 21st September. The celebration of IDP began with the Holy Mass which I offered for the world peace in the chapel of the Pastoral Institute Multan along with 25 students who are doing one year Religion Teachers Course at our institute along with the entire staff and some parishioners of our parish. Then, there were three other major programs which took place in Multan and several other in other cities as well. The URI family in Pakistan was fully involved in the celebration of this day. Our national press gave prominent coverage to our peace events.
I have prepared a brief report on 9 programs which took place to celebrate with IDP. These activities took place in Multan, Lahore, Gujrat and Islamababad.
May Peace Prevail on Earth!
fr James Channan OP
URI Coordinator for Asia / Pakistan
International Day of Peace Celebrations In Pakistan
Reported by Fr James Channan OP
Multan: In accordance with the declaration of the United Nations to celebrate International Day of Peace on 21st of September many programs were organized by various organizations in Pakistan. Here are brief highlights of the programs which were organized by the United Religions Initiative (URI) and fully participated in along with other organizations. Our national press gave prominent coverage to our peace events.
1. Holy Mass offered for the Global Peace, Multan The staff and students of the Pastoral Institute Multan offered Holy Mass for global peace to begin the International Day of Peace at 6.30AM in their Chapel. The Main Celebrant of this Holy Mass was Rev. James Channan, OP; special readings were chosen from the Holy Bible on the message of peace and love.
The students sang peace songs and a homily was given on global peace; the role of the United Nations in promoting global peace and peace messages of Pope Benedict XI and Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, were quoted. The students and staff offered petitions before God for peace in the world, especially in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel/Palestine.
II. PEACE WALK IN MULTAN
An impressive celebration took place before the Press Club of Multan in the form of a Peace Walk which was jointly organized by the Multan Peace Net Work, Taraqi Pasand Organization, URI Pakistan and Caritas Pakistan Multan. More than 150 persons including children, women and men gathered before the Press Club at 10.30 AM and had a Peace Walk. Pigeons were released, peace song sung. Small children were holding play cards with the slogan such as: We want peace and not war. May Peace Prevail On Earth, May Peace Prevail in Pakistan, Give us Books and not Bombs.
This walk was from the New Multan City Chowk (Square) and lead by the organizers: Mr. Sabtain Raza Lodhi, Fr James Channan OP, Muhammad Jamil, Mr. Samuel Clement and Dr. Kishwar Murad. Fr James Channan, Director Pastoral Institute Multan and URI Coordinator for Asia led the Peace Walk was the Chief Guest and Mr Muhamad Jamil was the Chief Organizer. While addressing the press fr James said, that Pakistan is a peace loving country and we as members of different organizations are putting our full role in promoting peace. We should be afraid of a small number of people who disturb peace and promote terrorism. We congratulate President Musharraf for his liberal policies and for making all citizens of Pakistan equal by abolishing separate electorates. He appreciated and urged the government of Pakistan to carry on the dialogue which it has started with the government of Israel for this is the only way to resolve the issue of Palestine. And moreover the Jews are People of the Book. He also urged the government of Pakistan to celebrate this day at government level. Mr. Muhammad Jamil said it is the prime objective of the Multan Peace Network to work for interfaith harmony and tolerance. He congratulated Mr. Kofi Annan for urging all of us to work for the noble cause of peace all around the world.
III. Seminar at Workers Welfare School, Multan
One seminar on the theme of “Development of Peace and Harmony was organized by the Cresent Lines Club of Multan. It was organized at Workers Welfare High School in Multan. The entire school staff and over 500 students were present for this seminar. The students of the school made beautiful speeches on the need of promoting peace and harmony among religions and the Muslim students emphasized that Islam the religion of peace and tolerance and thus these values must be practiced at all levels of the lives of Muslims. Exactly at 12.00 noon ONE MINUTE SILENCE was observed by all participants as it was suggested by Mr. Kofi Annan. Those who addressed this seminar included Mrs. Shagufta Kanawal, Principal of the School, Mr. Sabtain Raza Lodhi, Coordinator of the Taraqi Pasad Tehreeq., Mr Waseem Mumtaz and Mr. Shakir. Mr. Ijaz Ahmed President of the Cresent Lines Club, presided over whereas, Fr James Channan OP was the Chief Guest. In his presidential remarks, Mr. Ijaz said there we must fight terrorism at all levels and we must destroy its roots. The root cause of terrorism is ignorance and non acceptance of the other around us. In his observation there is no danger of Clash of Civilization or Clash of Religions, for him it is the Clash of Ignorance and lack of knowledge. Fr James Channan congratulated the principal and organizers of these seminars and said our religions teach us love, peace, tolerance, forgiveness and care of the others. There is a Golden Rule which is found in all religions and that is “Do unto others, what you would like them to do unto you”. This rule is found in the teaching and holy books of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism etc. If all of us practice this golden role and act upon it we can bring lasting peace in the entire world. He also mentioned that Christian and Muslims make 54% of the world population, if the followers of both of these religions plus the Jews have dialogue then peace will certainly prevail on earth.
IV. PEACE CONFERENCE AT THE PASTORAL INSTITUTE
The third and largest celebration of the International Day of Peace was held at the PASTORAL INSTIUTE MULTAN. This function began at 5.00PM with the releasing of doves and balloons in the air by the guests and students of the Pastoral Institute. To mark and remember this special day one plant of peace was planted by the representatives of Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. It was planted in the lawn of the Pastoral Institute by Ali Raza Gardezi, Mrs. Zuhra Zaidi, Mr. Sabtain Raza Lodhi, Mrs. Yasmeen Khakwani, Mr. Ziaul Rehman (Muslims) Dr. Kishwar Murad Kishwar (Hindu), Fr James Channan and Miss Ann Mary (Christians). These events were followed Peace Conference in the very elegantly decorated auditorium of the Institute. The theme was “The Role of Civil Society in Promoting Global Peace”. The conference with a recitation for the holy book of Muslims, Christians and Hindus. During the conference CANDLE OF PEACE was lit by the representative of different organizations and religions. A group of 25 students of the Pastoral Institute presented two beautiful peace songs and a tableau as well. The member of the Women and Children Disabled Welfare also presented a lovely tableau on the on peace. On minute silence for the world peace was observed and prayer also offered in silence for global peace.
This conference was jointly organized by the following organizations and Directors and other representatives of all these associations were present.
1. United Religions Initiative Pakistan, Fr James Channan OP
2. The Pastoral Institute Multan, Mr. Francis Daniel Assistant Director
3. Awaz Foundation, Director Mr. Zia ul Rahman
4. Justice and Peace Commission Pakistan, Executive Secretary Dr. Alwin Murad
5. CARITAS Pakistan Multan, Mr. Gulzar
6. Amnesty International, Mrs. Zuhra Zaidi
7. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Ms. Shaista
8. Pakistan Christian Writers Guild, Mr. Javed Yad
9. National Justice and Peace Commission Pakistan, Mr. Saleem Raza
10. Civil Society URI CC Multan, Dr. Kishwar Murad Kishwar
11. Citizen Democratic Forum, Mr. Javed Sohail
12. Women and Children Disabled Care Multan, Mrs. Ruth Hanif Lal
13. Women’s Rights Association, Mrs. Yasmeen Khakwani
14. Small Productions Organization Multan, Mr. Sabtain Lodhi
15. Multan Cresent Lines Club, Mr. Sabtain Lodhi
16. Taraqi Pasand Organization, Ms. Samina Naz
17. Multan Peace Network, Mr. Jamil
18. Suwail Development Organization, Miss. Khakwani
19. Alqaim Organization, Ali Raza Gardezi
20. Coalition Against Child Labor Punjab, Shaista Jabeen
21. Dioce Catechetical Commission Multan, Miss. Safya Piyara
22. Christian Welfare Orgaization, Mr. Sharif Bahadar
23. SEAP Pakistan, Asim Mumtaz Advocate
All persons mentioned above represented their organizations and gave a speech of five minutes each, on their points of view on the global peace, the challenges it is faced with and what role their organization is playing to promote peace in the world. All highlighted the importance of the Civil Society in promoting global peace, respect for humanity, equality, religious freedom of all and rights of women and minorities. The challenges faced by the UN were also highlighted. The annunciation of the International Day of Peace was highly appreciated. All vowed to support the noble cause of the United Nations. The dangers to peace caused by terrorism, hate crimes, weapons of mass destruction, arm race and atom bombs were also mentioned.
The message of the Kofi Annan on the occasion of the International Day of Peace was read and it was deeply appreciated by all the participants. It was listened to with great respect and care.
Toward the end of the conference following resolutions were unanimously approved all.
- We appeal to the governments of all countries to work jointly for the termination of terrorism in the world. And in order to provide a firm foundation for peace take out armed forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Kashmir and Ireland. The countries who have occupied these countries must vacate them and act upon the golden role of “To Live and Let Live”.
- All countries of the world must sign and accept the Treaty to Ban Small (and Big) Weapons. We also appeal to all countries to stop making weapons of mass destruction, fatal armaments and demonstration of these weapons as well.
- In order to over come hunger and poverty make just distribution of resources in the world.
- We urge the government of Pakistan to declare the celebration of the International Day of Peace at national level.
- We urge the government of Pakistan to review our education curricula and take out all those chapters which give rise to discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion and gender. Such discriminatory elements must be replaced with the teachings of peace, love, mutual respect and tolerance and interfaith dialogue.
It was for the very first time in the history of Multan that the World Peace Day was celebrated on such a grand scale by so many organizations. And it can be very confidently said that it was the largest program of entire country which was jointly organized by 23 different organizations which are working both at national and international level.
V. PEACE SEMINAR IN LAHORE
In Lahore Tehreek-e-Taraq-e-Insaniyat organized a seminar for the women, children and young people. Peace songs were sung, silence for one minute observed and speeches made on the need of peace and harmony among people of different races and religions. The chief organized of this program was Mr. Yuel Bhatti, Coordinator of the CC.
VI. SCHOOL CHILDREN PEACE WALK IN LAHORE
An other program was also arranged in the same city by the Lahore URI CC in which school children had a peace walk. This was arranged by Mr. Javed Kazy, Assistant Coordinator of the CC.
VII. SEMINAR IN GUJRAT
In Gujrat the National Muslim Christian Dialogue organized a peace conference at the City Hall in which over 500 people participated. This program was organized by Mr. Zubair Ahmed Farooq, Coordinator of the CC.
VIII. PEAC CONFERENCE IN GUJRAT
Yet another program was also organized by the St. Andrew’s URI CC by Rev. George Fatehdin, Coordinator of the CC.
IX. PEACE CONFERENCE IN ISLAMABAD
In Islamabad, Allama Abual Fateh G. R. Chishti, Coordinator of the Universal Interfaith Peace Organization, and Syed Husnain Gillani, Coordinator, Ibeda Foundation and Press for Peace members from Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, organized a joint Peace Conference at a local hotel in which over 150 persons participated in . Speeches on peace were made by leaders of different religions and commitment made to work jointly for peace in Pakistan and all around the world. One minute silence was observed and prayer for world peace offered.
X. POETRY PEACE CONCERT (Mushaira) IN MULTAN
In connection with the International Peace Day All Pakistan Poetry Concert was organized in Multan on 19th of September at the Pastoral Institute Multan. In this concert over 30 poets participated and recited poems on global peace and tolerance. These poets came from Lahore, Multan, Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Melsi, Vehari, Sargodha and Faisalabad. The poetry concert started at 8.30PM and lasted till 12.00 midnight. Several poets of national and international repute participated in this peace poetry concert. Dr. Prof. Asi Karnali Presided over, where as, Dr. Kanwal Feroze from Lahore, Dr. Prof. Yousaf Nayyar from Sialkot were the Chief Guests and Dr. Prof. Muhamamd Ameen and Iqbal Arshad were the Guests of Honor. Fr James Channan was the host. Mr Javed Yad and Shafiq Asif were the compares. Other poets and poetess who recited poems on this occasion included: From Lahore, Ms. Naseen Anjum Bhatti, Ms. Fauzia Mughal, Javed Siddique Bhatti, Ms. Kausar Eman, Mr. Rahmat Ali, Dr. Afzal Shaheen, from Sargodha, Mr. Shakir Nazami, from Vehari, Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed Ashfaq, from Bahawalpur, Mr. Rashid Tabassum, from Multan, Mr. Raziul Din Razi, Mr. Waseem Mumtaz, Mr. Nadeem Ajmal, Mr. Ayub Sajjid, Mr. Hameed Sahar, Mr. Kiswar Murad, Ms. Gul Nasreen, Mr. Noor Ahmed Ghazi, Mr. Sariq Javed, Mr. Javed Iqbal Hashmi, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed, Fr. Siddique Mark Sunder OP, Mr. Noman Nasir, Mr. Javed Daaniel, Ms. Samar Jahan Ara and Mr. Raza Abbas.
This program was jointly organized by the Pastoral Institute Multan and the United Religions Initiative Pakistan. During this concert a group of 20 young girls and 5 boys sang beautiful peace songs. The International Day of Peace message of Mr. Kofi Annan was read in English and translated into Urdu. All guests were offered delicious supper by the Pastoral Institute and the URI Pakistan.
Francis Xavier, Lahore
Greetings with love and peace.
A peace festival was arranged for the school children on international peace day on September 21st 2005 at Basharat-E-Ibn-Mariam School Lahore-Pakistan.
We started our day with the prayer for peace and with peace walk, and then there were peace speeches by young children, tableaux, Peace poems and peace songs. There was also a peace pole planting ceremony in the end of the program.
All the participants were very happy to participate being with us in on this occasion. The Children were dancing sing around peace pole. During the walk children were waving flags of all countries of the world.
Sharp at 12: noon we said a prayer in silence for a culture of peace in world, especially, for Iraq, Kashmir, Palestine and rest of the world.
Women and Children Development org.
13/4-J- Ferozepur Rd Lahore-Pakistan.
Yuel Bhatti, Lahore
Dear all URI and WPPS Family
It’s my great pleasure to share the event report on the World Peace day 2005. The Tehreek-E-Insantiate (TTI) –CC, Peace and Development Foundation (PDF) and Eric John Welfare society (EJWS) organized this great event at Press Club, Lahore on 21.9.2005 AT 5:00 P.M.
In the event number of Interfaith Community participated. Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Bahai Community. Interfaith Children (of Peace and Development Foundation) Women and men, different heads of Organizations participated in the Seminar.
The Theme of the Seminar was: Peace Building and Harmony.
The Master of Ceremony were Mr. Younis Khan, General sectary of TTI-CC and Mr. Perwaz Yousaf, General Secretary of EJWS compared the event in well manner The programmed was started at 5:00 p.m. With interfaith prayers and sung the National Anthem to gather. And there after one minute silence for World Peace. The Interfaith Prayers were offered
Mr. Eric John, welcome the Guest and Children presented the Roses to the distinguished Guest
Fr. Nasir Gulfam presided over the event, while the Chief Guest was. Major Irfan Gill, Deputy Secretary Department of Aquf Government of Punjab-Pakistan
Mr. Yuel Bhatti, the Coordinator of TTI-CC and Peace Pal Coordinator of WPPS. Present the Paper in details referring the UN declaration-Resolution adopted by the General Assembly-Fifty fifth session Agenda item33 of the International Day of Peace, He explained about the United Religions Initiative (URI) Mission and Purpose and the World Peace Prayer society (WPPS) Prayer: - ”May Peace Prevail on Earth”. He also mentioned that the URI is working with UNO as affiliated Organization to promoting the cultural and religion for Peace-Interfaith relation toward sharing and explained the Activities of URI in the Pakistan, dedication of Fr. James Channan, Regional Coordinator and Director of MCC in Pakistan, towards Promoting the Peace and mentioned several event report of MCC, Tehreek Taraque–E-Insaniate (TTI-CC) and Peace and Development Foundation’s Mission to spreading the Peace among Interfaith Children and also the contribution of Eric John Welfare Society in the activities of welfare and Peace
He also presents Great Tribute to the president of Pakistan. General Perwaz Mushraf who is Promoting Religion for Peace and refer his Historical Speech in the recent session of UNO wherein he stressed the need of Interfaith collaboration towards world Peace as he talked about the mankind, human rights and Religion for Peace
Mr. Munwar Chand, Prominent Hindu Leader, while addressing the audience said that all religions are teaching about the Peace and Harmony. We are all God’s mankind and should respect every mankind. God is one. He refer some quotation from the Holy Book of Hindu
Fr. Abid Habib, Peace activist. Appreciated all the effort of the Organizers for holding such a wonderful event for solidarity with whole world to celebrate the World Peace Day. He urges the interfaith clergy to be closer for interfaith dialogue and said that Christianity is the religion for peace and love. Our Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. In Pakistan we have full liberty of Worship. But there are few elements of Fundamentalist but we should not hesitate to promote peace and Harmony.
Dr.Ruyihia Muddfi. Consultant Gynecologist. Representative from Bahai Community. Said that I am great full Mr.Yuel Bhatti , Mr. Eric John Younis Khan and Mr. Perwaz Yousaf who have Organize. She quoted many occasion where the Bahai community organized such program wherein they teach the community for Peace building, which is utmost need of the decade. She said that the URI-Pakistan is doing tremendous role for interfaith program to see the difference. I am much inspired that Mr. Bhatti have involved all life of community especially children and women.
Rev. Hanook Haq, Moderator of Lahore Presbyterian: He quoted some reference from the Holy Bible and Holy Quran for Peace, harmony, tolerance, and acceptance and respects each other. He told that I am much inspired with great work of URI.
Mr. Wajhat , Muslim Young Businessman: Said that it is honor for me that I am speaking among the high-class gentry wherein all interfaith Leaders, Children and women are present. We are all mankind must respect all humanity without discrimination. There is great need of world Peace. We should all play the role for Peace building & Harmony. Jihad is must be for Peace and development only.
Mr. Zaffer Sindhu, Councilor – local body. Appreciated the effort of Mr. Bhatti to hold such a wonderful program to celebrate the World Peace day in the central place wherein the full media is here for coverage and we promote the cultural peace in the grass root level. Where is actual need? The TTI-CC always holds such program in the grass root level.
Dr.Kanwal Feroze, Pioneer member of URI in Pakistan: prominent, Poet and Journalist. Said that URI in Pakistan is doing marvelous job towards promoting Cultural/Religions for Peace. There is great need of Interfaith dialogue for world Peace. The World Peace is not possible until and unless the dispute of Kashmir, Iraq and Palestine is not solved. The UN must see the situation when daily hundred people are killed. How so it is fare that WARS ARE SOLUTION OF PEACE. Bombs are blasted and humanity is killing for hating and not accepts each other. So there is great need of Justice. He much appreciated the work of TTI-CC and Peace and Development Foundation
The Children of Peace and Development Foundation (PDF) Sung song of Peace beautifully while holding the play cards of Peace & harmony with lightening the candles Miss Previswa led the event.. They prepared the Peace tags and hand made Banner in the supervision of Mrs. Elishba Bhatti
Lightening the Peace Candle:
Master Chand small boy lightened the candle and he lighted the other candle while Mrs. Younis Khan, Mrs. Bhatti and Dr.Ruyihia Muddfi helps the audience for lightening the candles. During the event. PDF children again sung Peace Songs.
The symbolic Peace Pole Ceremony was held. Mr. Yuel Bhatti explains about the peace pole history. And dedication of Peace Pole at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore and Pastoral Institute Multan and in different Schools. The Balloons were flown. And special prayers were offered:
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH! MAY PEACE PREVAIL IN IRAQ!
MAY PEACE PREVAIL IN PALESTINE! MAY PEACE PREVAIL IN KASHMIR! MAY PEACE PREVAIL IN PAKISTAN!
Major Irfan Gill. (Chief Guest) Deputy Secretary of Aquf Department–Government of Punjab Pakistan Said that this great event is milestone event on the World Peace Day 2005 in the Capital of Punjab-Pakistan. I warmly congratulate the Organizers of Seminars wherein all Interfaith Peace builder of all mankind have participated. I have attended many program of URI and appreciated the effort of Fr. James and Mr. Yuel Bhatti and his team for spreading the Peace. I will counter to the Government the great job done by the URI in Pakistan. It is reality that there is utmost need of World Peace. We all must get to gather for this noble cause. Our President is doing the wonderful work for collaboration of world Peace. His recent address in the UN is historical and appreciated worldwide. There is great need of promoting global peace, respect for humanity, equality, religious freedom of all and rights of women and minorities
Fr. Nasir Gulfam, (President of the Ceremony) Concluded the Ceremony. He remarks. It is really my pleasure to preside over the seminar, all speakers. Spoke in all well manner and gave their views on the world peace. He much appreciated the efforts of URI-Pakistan and World Peace Prayer Society for their noble work. He said lets all stand together for praying for world peace. Peace begins from our inner heart when we throw hate accept each other. We strongly condemned terrorism. The terrors have no religion The President of Pakistan is doing tremendous role against the terrorism. We should all to gather Prayer for World Peace.
The seminar was ended with Prayers Led by Maulana Khabir Azad, Khateeb Badshahi Masque, Lahore. Prayer for the solidarity of Pakistan, world Peace, Peace in Iraq, Kashmir, Philistine and all over the world. The high teak tea /refreshment was served. 250 participated in the seminar. The program Photos are being sent on 22nd September full coverage in all print media of the seminar. Thanks,
Yuel Bhatti Coordinator- Tehreek Taraqe-E-Insaniate (TTI-URI-CC) Peace Pal Coordinator (WPPS) Peace and Development Foundation Lahore-Pakistan
Pastor Ajmal Chaughtai, Faisalabad
I would like to tell you that 21 Sep, 2005 that we opened our Pakistan Christian Life Ministries Church Worship Hall for prayer for the whole day. At evening time that we had a wonderful worship and we had a wonderful candles rally and lovely peace songs and children’s dance that day for Praise the Jesus Christ!
Please pray for our work for peace in the third big City Faisalabad of Pakistan.
May Peace Prevail On Earth!
May Peace Prevail In Lovely Pakistan.
Yours Bro In Jesus Christ!
Chairman Pakistan Christian Life Ministries,
Member Govt, District Peace Committee, Faisalabad
2005 World Peace Prayer Society Compilation
PICTORAL ARCHIVE OF PREVIOUS PEACE DAY EVENTS