‘The Sultan and the Saint’ movie program held in Columbia, SC on Sunday, March 24, brought a breath of fresh air in the aftermath of the New Zealand tragedy. The event was jointly hosted by PICNA and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and held at the majestic Stavros Lecture Hall of the Seminary in downtown Columbia.
The showing was attended by an enthusiastic audience representing diverse faiths. The movie that has already received 19 awards, has been nominated for the prestigious ‘Emmy Awards’. This documentary tells the compelling story of St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Malik of Egypt (nephew of the great Sultan Saladin) and their meeting on the bloody battlefield during the Crusades.
Chaudhry Sadiq, President PICNA, welcomed the audience and introduced Daniel Tutt, Producer, Unity Productions Foundation (UPF). Daniel, in turn, spoke about the UPF mission and presented the documentary that captivated the audience for an hour. A panel discussion and Q&A session followed the showing. Beside Daniel Tutt and Chaudhry who also moderated the discussion, the panel included Father Sandy McDonald of St. John Neumann Parish and Julie Bird, Pastor, McGregor Presbyterian Church.
Julie Bird in her opening statement, recounted the success story of ‘partnership for peace’ between her Church community, PICNA and the Muslim Community when they co-sponsored a Syrian refugee family. Father Sandy McDonald in his statement, shared his experiences from his visit to Turkey where he was impressed by the Turkish nation’s exemplary hospitality and rich culture.
During the Q & A session, the audience engaged the panelists with penetrating questions about peacemaking, world conflicts and reconciliation. In the end, Chaudhry Sadiq thanked the audience for their participation and keen interest and the program concluded with a prayer for the victims of the New Zealand tragedy.
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