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 2 months ago
It is always inspiring to read about true Catholic heroes like Shahbaz Bhatti.
Juan Lino
7 years 2 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 2 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

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018
The coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII is seen during a ceremony in Vittorio Veneto Square after its arrival in Bergamo, Italy, May 24. The body of the late pope left the Vatican on May 24 to be displayed in his home region until June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) — Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early on May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.

On this week's episode, we talk with Lieutenant Governor of Washington State, Cyrus Habib.
Olga SeguraMay 25, 2018