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"A mission of friendship and peace" the Communities of Sant'Egidio of Pakistan gathered in Lahore on the occasion of the visit of Andrea Riccardi

January 25 2023 - LAHORE, PAKISTAN

Pakistan
Andrea Riccardi

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In recent days, the Communities of Sant'Egidio in Pakistan met in Lahore on the occasion of Andrea Riccardi's visit. The assembly brought together communities from 8 cities in the country (Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Karachi, Sargodha, Quetta and Gojira). It was an opportunity to reflect on the mission of Sant'Egidio in this large nation with a Muslim majority - "The mission of being a prophetic minority, which creates peace and friendship for all" Andrea Riccardi said - and to explore together the value of the presence of Sant'Egidio in several situations of great abandonment, such as that of the elderly who, in a country that is demographically rather young, often live isolated and separated from their families.

In a difficult period for Pakistan, where the consequences of the tragic flood that devastated the country last September, causing millions of displaced people, have added to the economic crisis triggered by Covid, the Community has intensified its commitment to the poor.

Andrea Riccardi's visit was also the occasion to inaugurate the resnovation of the headquarters of the Community of Lahore, with a party attended by the many friends reached out by the solidarity of Sant'Egidio. Together with the children of the Schools of Peace, some women who did not have identity documents, elderly people and families who during the Covid crisis had lost their means of livelihood, today brought their testimony and gratitude, together with young people who were able to access studies thanks to the "Right to school, right to the future" scholarship program - which in Pakistan supports a few hundred children of the Christian minority - and who are now part of the Community and participate in the service of the poorest.