Pakistan: bishop urges caution as 50,000 Muslims praise blasphemy law
January 10, 2011
As 50,000 Muslims took to the streets in Pakistan’s largest city to defend the nation’s law against blasphemy, a bishop cautioned Christians against taking part in opposing public protests.
The large protest in Karachi-- which included moderate Muslims, according to the BBC-- featured banners praising the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, a politician who had spoken in defense of Asia Bibi, the Christian mother sentenced to death on blasphemy charges.
“All of our people need to be very careful. Saying anything can incite the mob,” said Auxiliary Bishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore. “We must not live in fear. We must have faith in God. But if we go on the streets to express ourselves at this time, it will create a negative reaction.”
“If people make statements and take actions that cause incitement, it may not be them that suffer most but their communities.”
The nation of 162.4 million is 0.7% Catholic, according to Vatican statistics. 77% of Pakistanis are Sunni Muslims, while 20% are Shia Muslims.
- Bishop warns Christians in Pakistan (Aid to the Church in Need)
- Massive Karachi rally in support of blasphemy law (BBC)
- Pakistani Church Leader Urges Faithful to Be Careful (Zenit)
- Slain Pakistani governor had sought change in blasphemy law (CWN, 1/4)
- Muslim leaders: Don’t pardon Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy (CWN, 11/24)
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: extremeCatholic -
Jan. 15, 2011 8:16 PM ET USA
"Saying anything can incite the mob" - that's a statement of fear and contradicted by "We must not live in fear". Bishop, take a lesson from the Jews of Europe of the 1930's, when the mob says "Kill the Jews (or Christians)" and the government gets behind the mob, it's time to flee.
Posted by: hartwood01 -
Jan. 10, 2011 8:10 PM ET USA
I suspect the Muslims of terrorist persuasion have the devout,peace-loving Muslims by the throat. I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't routed out to this exhibition at gunpoint. I have been told that any Pakistani with money leaves his homeland as it has descended into hell. There are peaceable, righteous Muslims. They can't speak up for fear of the consequences,as we can imagine.