Christian leaders are looking to avoid causing friction with the country's Muslim majority
Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore and others at the interfaith meeting at the Bishop's House on Oct. 19. (Photo: Kamran Choudhry)
A Catholic archbishop in Pakistani’s Punjab province has urged Christians to avoid liturgical hymns and psalms praising Israel, fearing a possible backlash in the Muslim-majority nation where many have been left angered by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore in the provincial capital organized an inter-faith meeting on Oct. 19 at his Bishop’s House, seeking an end to the war. Most Muslims consider the war as an Islam-Jewish fight and any perceived support for the Jewish state of Israel could result in a backlash in the province, which is home to most Pakistani Christians.
The nuclear-armed Jewish state has, in turn, accused Pakistan of supporting Palestinian terror groups.In the current war in Gaza, the Pakistan government backs the Palestinians whom the Islamic nation’s powerful army once called “our brethren” in a statement on Oct. 17 by its public relations wing.Though Pakistan has no diplomatic ties, the Islamic nation and Israel have joined hands to hold cultural activities and share intelligence inputs. In 2005, their foreign ministers met at a public function.Nuclear-armed Pakistan refuses to recognize Israel until there is a Palestinian state and provides financial aid to the Palestinian government.On Oct. 16, the Pakistan government said it would dispatch humanitarian aid to Gaza as the Israeli army pounded the densely populated Gaza Strip with air strikes.
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