Day of prayer, fasting in Pakistan as assassinated cabinet minister buried
CWN - March 04, 2011
Catholics and other Christians in Pakistan are holding three days of public mourning in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic cabinet minister assassinated for his opposition to the nation’s blasphemy law. March 4, the day of his burial, is a special day of prayer and fasting, with bishops offering a memorial Mass in Islamabad and a funeral Mass in Faisalabad.
"Shahbaz Bhatti was a man who followed God's plan in his life," said Archbishop Anthony Rufin of Islamabad at the funeral for the slain Pakistani official.
Christians took to the streets in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Multan, and Quetta to protest the “absence and inaction” of the nation’s government, a local source told the Fides news agency. "He is a man who gave his life for the faith." The archbishop suggested that Bhatti might eventually be recognized as a martyr.
The funeral was held under tight security, and many Christians protested when they found themselves locked out of the church. Security officials closed the doors after Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani entered, and some mourners-- including a sister of the deceased-- were blocked from entering.
“If the country became a killing field of democratic and liberal people who exercise freedom of conscience and expression, it would legitimize the criminals trying to take over the country,” Catholic and Protestant leaders said in joint statement.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our final 2013 goal ($22,339 to go, assuming receipt of matching funds):
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!