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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

This year’s W.Y.D takes place less than three months after the conclusion of the Synod for Young People that was held in the Vatican last October.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2019
On Jan. 18, a teenager wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, center left, stands in front of an elderly Native American singing and playing a drum in Washington. (Survival Media Agency via AP)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- An exchange between Catholic high school students and a Native American tribal leader in Washington Jan.

Like most public writers, I was used to getting notes that were crude, crazy or even mildly threatening. Normally, I would say a quick prayer for these obviously troubled people and get on with my day. This time it felt different, precisely because the author wasn’t insulting or obviously deranged.
Rachel LuJanuary 21, 2019
In cities across the country, local activists marched in support of a progressive agenda centered on economic justice, racial justice and immigrant rights.
Brandon SanchezJanuary 20, 2019