It is impossible to calculate the depth of emotions stirring within us in this moment of tragedy. Those of us who recently visited our sisters and brothers (Muslim and Christian) in Lahore are deeply pained by the loss of life and injury suffered by children and families who celebrated Easter Sunday in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, in the heart of that city’s Christian community. We share the suffering and express our sincere sympathy to the people directly affected by the suicide bombing.
We are reminded of our purpose and reason for traveling to Pakistan. We sought to bring people closer together with compassion, understanding, and an openness to our common tenets of faith. We were welcomed into homes, mosques, churches, and greeted with love and hospitality. The human clothe is woven together by grace and a strong desire to end violence and live together in peace. There remains much work we must do to advance the noble and worthy cause for peace and tolerance.
As a member of the UPIC (US-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium) delegation, it is my commitment to promote “Unity, Civility, and Reconciliation.” We are united by our differences of faith, culture, heritage, and traditions. We seek to treat one another with respect and dignity in a civilized manner. And, we acknowledge our complicity in policies, behaviors and practices that have not always honored the integrity of all people.
We are resolved to double our commitment to a future unlike the past and this present moment. We focus our vision and long for peace, justice, forgiveness, and the Beloved Community in which people of all faiths can worship and live without fear.
Rev. Dr. Art Cribbs
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity