[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Church of Pakistan has reflected on the “short and brief, but very hectic and blessed” visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this month. Archbishop Justin used the visit to meet with victims of recent terror attacks in the country. The Church’s co-ordinating officer, Mano Rumalshah, said that the visit “fulfilled its main purpose of feeling the pain of the wounded and sharing the hope of healing and reconciliation offered by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Speaking about a Eucharist service at All Saint’s Church in Peshawar, Mr Rumalshah said that “perhaps the most salient feature of this occasion was the presence of young orphans and injured victims who welcomed the Archbishop with rose petals and flowers. . . They went away with a very satisfied and grateful heart for all the blessing that they received from the occasion and very much appreciated the special effort that the Archbishop made to see them.”
A gathering at Christ Church in Youhnabad was not a formal act of worship but “a time together with the victims and their families” for prayer and sharing. “The Archbishop again gave them hope and encouraged them to face their situation bravely.”
The highlight of the visit was the Archbishop’s meeting with young people, “which makes you feel so good that the Archbishop especially thought of it,” Rumalshah said. More than 300 young people were present at the meeting; and every diocese in the Province was represented. Three of them – two boys and a girl – gave “a very reflective and personal perspective of the life of a young Christian person in the Pakistan of today. There was also a short dramatic act to highlight the issues of interfaith conflicts and reconciliation.
“The Archbishop gave a very reassuring message to bravely live out their young lives and also, through their zeal and enthusiasm, bring new hope and purpose to their oppressed community.”
The comments were made by Mr Rumalshah this week in a briefing document to the leadership of the Church of Pakistan.