Catholic Minister Assassinated

Church leaders around the world expressed their distress at the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister for minorities. Gunmen ambushed Bhatti’s car in broad daylight in the capital, Islamabad, on March 2. Bhatti, the cabinet’s only Christian minister, had received death threats for urging reform to Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws. Federico Lombardi, S.J., the Vatican spokesperson, said: “The assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti shows how right the Pope is in his persistent remarks concerning violence against Christians and against religious freedom in general. Bhatti was the first Catholic to hold such an office. We recall how he...bore witness to his own commitment to peaceful coexistence among the religious communities of his country. Our prayers for the victim, our condemnation for this unspeakable act of violence, our closeness to Pakistani Christians who suffer hatred are accompanied by an appeal that everyone may become aware of the urgent importance of defending both religious freedom and Christians who are subject to violence and persecution.”

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

El don de Dios es la sabiduría. Salomón la recibe como un acto misericordioso de Dios.
Juan Luis CalderónJuly 26, 2017
Catholic Relief Services delivers seed and farming tools in Central African Republic in 2014. Photo: Kevin Clarke.
The impact of the Trump foreign aid reductions, if enacted, “would be swift, devastating, and felt for years to come, imperiling millions of lives and the course of global development, stability, and partnership.”
Kevin ClarkeJuly 26, 2017
An explosive device was detonated outside the offices of the Mexican bishops' conference, directly across the street from the country's most visited religious site, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. walks from the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, as he steers the Senate toward a crucial vote on the Republican health care bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Republican proposals “exclude too many people, including immigrants,” Bishop Frank J. Dewane said in a statement.