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Austen IvereighMarch 04, 2011

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."

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.

 

 

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Thomas Piatak
13 years 2 months ago
It is always inspiring to read about true Catholic heroes like Shahbaz Bhatti.
Juan Lino
13 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!
13 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.

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