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.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

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

These photos were taken August 16, 1920, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the Insane. Salmon had been on a hunger strike for 34 days. (National Archives and Records Administration via the website BenSalmon.org)
The courageous witness of 'unarmed prophet' Ben Salmon—precisely one century ago—anticipated a major development in Catholic doctrine on war and peace,.
Barry HudockSeptember 22, 2017
On this week's jesuitical, we talk with Catholic rockstar, Audrey Assad.
Olga SeguraSeptember 22, 2017
Soldiers hold up closed fists motioning for silence during rescue efforts at the Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Mexico, on Sept. 21. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Reports of a girl trapped in the rubble of a collapsed school in Mexico City captured the world's attention, but the story was created by bad journalistic and government practices.
Jan-Albert HootsenSeptember 22, 2017
A woman holds up a sign during a rally against assisted suicide in 2016 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. (CNS photo/Art Babych)
The American College of Physicians called for better promotion of palliative and hospice care, which opponents of physician-assisted suicide say are underutilized areas of medicine that could address concerns of patients facing difficult illnesses.
Michael J. O’LoughlinSeptember 21, 2017