"I personally feel very strongly Christ's call to love my neighbor. With this spirit I would like to offer our Muslim brothers and sisters a free break-fasting dinner during the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic during the 30 days of the fasting month of Ramadan. Every day about 150 people come to collect parcels of food", reports to Agenzia Fides Raja Walter, Catholic entrepreneur and philanthropist who runs a fast food restaurant in the Youhanabad district of Lahore.
Raja Walter, who has been running this business for over 5 years, says: "It was a difficult time when the Covid-19 pandemic started in March 2020 and we were in serious trouble. Some Muslims in the area gave us food to offer to the Christian population during Lent. After our Lent, the month of Ramadan began for Muslims, and then it was the Christian faithful who came to meet the poor and needy Muslims. We wanted to offer free evening meals to our Muslim brothers in Youhanabad, a district of Lahore that is home to about 150,000 Christians".
Raja Walter, together with his group of friends and volunteers, which includes Christians and Muslims, offers meals in particular to widows, the unemployed, the destitute without any discrimination of ethnicity, religion, social class. "All the preparation and distribution - he reports - takes place in my restaurant in the evening. During Ramadan we interrupt regular services for an hour and from 5.45 pm onwards we only serve the Iftar meal to our Muslim brothers and sisters. Then we distribute the dinner that is left over to other people in need".
Walter concludes: "Feeding the poor and needy is a work of compassion. With the support of my family, friends, co-workers, donors and volunteers, we are following the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is present in the poor and calls us to feed the hungry".
Fr. Francis Gulzar, parish priest of the Catholic Church of St John in Youhanabad, appreciates the good works of the Catholic entrepreneur. The priest, who is also Vicar General in the diocese, says: "It is a wonderful initiative on behalf of Raja Walter, who is the son of one of our retired catechists. It began at a time when people were struggling to provide meals to those in need. His loyalty in serving the poor and needy is commendable and his commitment to strengthening interreligious harmony in the region is valuable. Offering the Iftar meal to Muslims means conveying a clear message of common living: we people of different faiths can live in harmony and fraternity in every place, in every city and in every country and be close to others in difficult times".