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Pakistan: cause opens for beatification of slain government official, Shahbaz Bhatti

March 02, 2016

Church officials in Pakistan are collecting testimony for the cause of beatification of Shahbaz Bhatti, the government official who was killed in 2011 because of his support for Christians accused of blasphemy.

On March 2, the 5th anniversary of Bhatti's death, as the Islamabad diocese began investigating Bhatti's cause, with the approval of Bishop Rufin Anthony and of Bishop Joseph Coutts-- who led the Diocese of Faisalabad when Bhatti lived there.

Bhatti was known as a devoted Catholic, who chose to remain celibate, and persevered in his defense of the country's Christian minority despite resisting multiple death threats. 

Bishop Anthony Lobo, a former bishop of Islamabad who died in 2013, told the Fides news service before his death: "I believe that Clement Shahbaz Bhatti was a dedicated lay Catholic martyred for his faith."

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