Joint Statement by Muslim Public Affairs Council and Archbishop of Los Angeles regarding Church massacre in Pakistan.

Joint Statement by Dr. Maher Hathouth, Sr. Advisor, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Caridinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles regarding the massacre at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

It was with deep sadness that we learned of the massacre at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Bahawalpur, Pakistan on Sunday, October 28.

Those who died at the hands of these gunmen were members of various Protestant faiths who had come to worship at St. Dominic Church. This deplorable act of violence was leveled at innocent and unsuspecting people gathered for prayer.

We deplore these and other acts of violence done in the name of religion. The use of religion to justify such crimes is an aberration of the foundational principles and tenets of both Islam and Christianity. At the heart of our respective faith traditions is a genuine respect for the dignity of human life, a profound understanding of the solidarity that binds us together as one human family, and a deep longing for peace grounded injustice.

In addition, we strongly urge the Pakistani authorities to identify and arrest the perpetrators of these crimes.

The peace that we seek in these challenging and difficult times will only be found in a genuine solidarity among members of the rich faith traditions that make up our communities.

We pray for all the victims of the war and violence and for their family members. We join with others in the hope that peace will embrace our hearts and guide our actions.

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