29th May 2013
A Christian-Muslim youth group trip in Lahore before the Sikh place of worship.Photo: Kamran Chaudhry
Last weekend I went with Christian and Muslim students take a trip to five places of worship and memorial sites in and around Lahore, Pakistan, from the "Interfaith Youth in Action" (IYA) / Interfaith Youth in action (IJA) was organized. http://www .iyapk.org / diversity-tour-to-worship-places.html .
In spite of the hot May sun made it fun to learn something of buildings based on history and learn about different religious practices. The leaders in the places answered questions from the Christian and Muslim students - especially with a view to the fact that the places visited in one way or another are from terrorism, which is available in Pakistan affected.
This applies, for example, the cathedral of the "Praying Hands", which was rebuilt after the old church was damaged by a bomb attack on a nearby government building, 2008.Our next stop was the Sacred Heart Cathedral, where Catholics still collect donations to re-insert the stained glass windows dating from the early twentieth century, which were also shaken by the explosion.
It took almost half an hour to pass the checks, so we could go to the "Dear Gurudwara Sahib", around which are erected cement barriers and barbed wire. "Gurdwaras (= prayer and school sites of the Sikhs) are in principle open to all people of all religions 24 hours a day. "Right now, given the current scenario, but not" told us taranjeet Singh, an activist.
The IYA, which started such trips to places of worship of various religions in Pakistan last year, ensures that in the tours as now in Lahore nobody hurts the religious sentiments of other religions. Therefore, "Dear Sahib Gurudwara" towels were also distributed on the tour and all participants were asked to cover their heads before entering the Gurdwara.
Also at the Wazir Khan Mosque from the 17th Century we had to take off our shoes.When some of the participants travel announcing the Muslim afternoon prayer (Asr), I paid 50 rupees, half a dollar to rise up to the 32 meter high minarets corner. The authorities solicit alms from these visitors, in order to restore the dilapidated colorful fresco and decoration of wall and ceiling tiles can. It was difficult to find the knee high up stairs to climb, but reached the top I felt a wonderful peace.
I use to stay in the mosque also to talk to the Christian and Muslim young people in our group on the sectarian violence in the country. All spoke out against terrorism, but the best comment came from a young Christian who wash his face with water while he sat the mosque in the ablution area (wudu): "Those responsible for violence against Christians are people who brainwashed a were subjected; fundamentalists who proclaim that they are the purest and reject other faiths or lifestyles. "