Shahbaz Bhatti, martyr

The Christian member of the Pakistan government killed by Islamic fanatics on Wednesday gave an interview last year which shows he had received threats and knew he was likely to die. Shahbaz Bhatti, who was Minister of Minorities, opposed Pakistan's notorious blasphemy law, condemned by Pope Benedict at the start of the year.

In the short video Bhatti says: "I believe in Jesus Christ who has given his own life for us. I know what the Cross means, and what it means to follow the Cross. And I'm ready to die for the cause of my suffering community, and I will die to defend their rights."

Advertisement

The threats, he says, will not deter him.

"I prefer to die for justice and for the rights of my community than compromise with these threats".

Bhatti was killed in a hail of bullets in his car outside his mother's home. He had long asked for bulletproof glass for his car windows.

The Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome, to which Bhatti was closely connected, said the last person the murdered minister spoke to by phone, just 15 minutes before his death, was a member of the community.

"He was a humble and brave man who dedicated his political activity to enabling the peaceful coexistence of the different religions in his country," said Marco Impagliazzo, the Community's president.

The funeral is today.

 

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Thomas Piatak
7 years 10 months ago
It is always inspiring to read about true Catholic heroes like Shahbaz Bhatti.
Juan Lino
7 years 10 months ago
It is a fact that Christians are being persecuted and often killed in many parts of the world and I often fear it will only get worse and will eventually come to those who follow the gods of secularism and relativism.

In a world that preaches "tolerance" I find that when it comes to “Christians” many so called intelligent people and/or supposedly democratic governments inevitably say: "Oh no, we didn't mean you and/or your opinions, etc."

Yes, I am ranting!
7 years 10 months ago
Unfortunately this attitude is too common in the Muslim world.  Here is a report from January of a Muslim that was assassinated by his own body guard and the body guard praised all over Pakistan.  The murder victim was defending a Christian.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/world/asia/11pakistan.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&ref=global-home&adxnnlx=1299330082-S0l6sMfQhwlMftztpjpOUw


And then there was the Coptic Church attack in Egypt and the attacks of Christians in Iraq.  We are probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg that makes the international press.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Psychedelics can blur the line between science and spirituality—but Christian mysticism cannot be studied.
Terrance KleinJanuary 17, 2019
The extensive New York Times series in support of legal abortion unfolds as if the last 46 years of the abortion debate following Roe v. Wade never happened and did not need to.
​Helen AlvaréJanuary 17, 2019
In 1983, Sri Lanka descended into a bitter and prolonged ethnic conflict. Harry Miller, S.J., then almost 60, was thrust into a new role as witness, advocate, intermediary and protector not only for his students but for anyone in Batticaloa who sought his help.
Jeannine GuthrieJanuary 17, 2019
I have found that praying 15 minutes every day is an important form of self-care.
Michael R. Lovell January 16, 2019