Pakistan: terrorists issue fatwa against Catholic cabinet minister
December 06, 2010
Terrorist organizations associated with the Taliban have issued a fatwa against Shabhaz Bhatti, a Catholic layman who serves as Pakistan’s minister for religious minorities.
Bhatti is leading a commission that will consider changes to the nation’s blasphemy law. Christians in Pakistan have charged that the blasphemy law is a source of widespread abuse; members of religious minorities are subject to unsupported allegations that they insulted Islam, and can be convicted without clear evidence.
“My life mission is to protect religious freedom, minority rights, justice and equality,” Bhatti told the Fides news agency. “I will continue to do so without hesitation. My commitment will continue in spite of the claims of these groups, which, among other things, are illegal and damaging the country's image.”
“I am deeply religious, and the Pope’s words are very important in my life,” he added. “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.”
- Terrorists issue fatwa against Pakistani Minister for Minorities (Vatican Radio)
- Terrorist groups raise aim: “Eliminate Minister Bhatti” (Fides)
- Minister Bhatti tells Fides: “My commitment to justice goes on” (Fides)
- Pakistani leader may seek revision of blasphemy law, Vatican official says (CWN, 12/3)