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Pray for Shabhaz Bhatti

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Dec 07, 2010

As reported yesterday, terrorist organizations associated with the Taliban have issued a fatwa against Shabhaz Bhatti, the Pakistani Minister for Religious Minorities. This fatwa, or proclamation by an Islamic religious leader, provides for the assassination of Bhatti for aiding and abetting blasphemy. Bhatti is being targeted because he is establishing a commission to consider revisions to Pakistan’s Islamic blasphemy laws, under which Christians can be put to death without evidence or due process.

One of the problems with Islam is that it tends to be theocratic. Another is that any religious leader—any man learned in the Koran and/or in Islamic religious law, generally called either an ‘ulama or a mufti—can issue his own fatwas, which then have a kind of religious binding force, despite the fact that they can easily contradict other fatwas by other leaders. In this case, the fatwa is a way of bringing Bhatti more clearly into the sights of Islamic radicals who oppose efforts to establish principles of religious liberty.

Shabhaz Bhatti is a Catholic. He is in fact a very brave Catholic, who daily risks martyrdom. And he has asked for our prayers:

I am deeply religious, and the Pope’s words are very important in my life. I thank him for his closeness and solidarity with the Christians in Pakistan. His solace encourages me to witness to the faith in my life, despite the difficulties. I ask the Holy Father and all the faithful of the world to pray for me.

There are not a great many things that most of us can do to solve the problem of radical Islam in the world. But praying for Shabhaz Bhatti as a brother in Christ is one thing that we can do. I strongly suggest that all of us do it.

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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Dec. 10, 2010 9:57 AM ET USA

    There is not a shred of evidence either historically or in current events that suggests that things like blasphemy laws, church burnings, beheadings and terror are going to stop. Islam is radical by nature. It always has been. We can stop the political correctness (I'm not accusing you of this) and, as unpopular as it sounds, stop Muslim immigration to the USA or to Europe. Islam is not compatible with our way of life.

  • Posted by: bsp1022 - Dec. 07, 2010 10:23 PM ET USA

    ... thank you Dr. Mirus for the heads up on Shabhaz Bhatti's situation. May God bless and protect him as he struggles to lift up the gospel. I have prayed for him and will do so again, daily. Jezu Ufam Tobia.

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