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Charles Urges Inter-Faith Respect

ICC Note:
A trip by the Prince of Wales has allowed the Archbishop of Pakistan to highlight the economic discrimination Christians face in the country. He says that “It’s difficult for some of our people to find jobs because of their Christian background…”

BBC (11/02/06) – The Prince of Wales has called for tolerance between all religions as he continues his tour of Pakistan.

Accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, his trip to Lahore took in a mosque, a Sikh temple and a cathedral.

The prince called on community leaders of all faiths to have the “courage” to encourage mutual understanding and tackle religious intolerance.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt says the prince is passionate about improving inter-faith dialogue.

Christian minority

There are more Christians in Pakistan than there are Muslims in the UK, but they are a minority group and have suffered attacks, says Peter Hunt.

Prior to a garden reception, Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha spoke of the difficulties faced by Christians in the country.

“The problem is that we are a very small minority living in a very big majority of Muslims.”

He added: “It’s difficult for some of our people to find jobs because of their Christian background and this is more so in the last couple of years, especially since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

At a seminar on inter-faith dialogue, the prince said all minority religions deserve to be treated with respect.

He stressed that leadership was crucial to addressing religious intolerance.

“Ill-educated, ill-informed leadership is a key source of conflict between communities,” he said.

He added: “Understanding in private is one thing, but there is a need to translate understanding into practical action on the ground. This requires courage.”
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