26 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/06/2011
ITALY – PAKISTAN
Support my work on behalf of minorities in the footsteps of Shabbaz, says Paul Bhatti
by Dario Salvi
The Bible of the slain Catholic minister is added to the collection of tokens kept at Rome’s Saint Bartholomew Basilica to remember the martyrs. Faisalabad bishop says Bhatti bore witness to “peace and love” in a country victimised by intolerance in the name of religion.

Rome (AsiaNews) – “Support my work and help people in need and those who suffer in Pakistan,” said Paul Bhatti, president of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), in an appeal launched through AsiaNews. He is the brother of Shabbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Minority Affairs minister, who was slain on 2 March in Islamabad. Yesterday evening, a prayer was held in Rome in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, “martyr of the faith”, who was killed by Muslim fundamentalists. In his homily, Mgr Joseph Coutts, bishop of Faisalabad, focused on the mission of “peace, harmony, love and understanding” carried out by the Catholic minister in a country “experiencing intolerance in the name of religion.”

Against the solemn backdrop of the Saint Bartholomew Basilica on Tiber Island in Rome, Shabbaz Bhatti’s Bible was handed over and placed in the collection of tokens kept inside to remember the martyrs.

A prayer was held for the occasion in memory of the Pakistani minister. It was organised by the Community of Sant’Egidio, and presided by Mgr Joseph Coutts, bishop of Faisalabad, the diocese of the Bhatti family, who was recently elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan.

Shabbaz Bhatti’s brother, Paul, was present at the service. He was recently appointed “special advisor” on minority affairs to the Pakistani prime minister.

In appeal to AsiaNews, he said, “The Catholic religion urges people to express solidarity and love without distinctions. For this reason, I call on the Catholics of the world to support not only Christians but also people in need and those who suffer in Pakistan.”

Similarly, he addressed his appeal to the international community and to Western Christians. “I ask for your support and help in discharging my new duties,” he said.

During the homily, Mgr Coutts said that “Shabbaz’s mission was to promote peace, harmony, love and understanding in a country experiencing intolerance in the name of religion”.

Then prelate urged Shabbaz’s brother and the entire catholic community to “continue the work” in the footsteps of the slain minister.

“He showed the way,” the bishop of Faisalabad explained, “and we must continue to along the path with courage.”

In addition, Shahbaz Bhatti wanted to “fulfil Ali Jinnah’s mission,” the prelate said. The founder of Pakistan wanted in fact “a nation with equal rights for all, free from fanaticism.”

“This is why he saw the blasphemy law as dangerous because of the abuses it entailed, and why he struggled to have it changed.”

Saint Bartholomew Basilica on Tiber Island is dedicated to the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries. It has a collection of some 12,000 documents sent to the Vatican by a commission set up by John Paul II in 2000 to investigate the martyrs of the 20th century.

The Bible that belonged to Shahbaz Bhatti has been added to the other important items kept at the site, which include the missal of Salvadorian Archbishop Oscar Romero.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/29/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Rome, unity and mission to all peoples at feast of Peter and Paul
01/25/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Christian unity requires "all of our energy and efforts", but prayer above all
07/21/2008 PAKISTAN – WYD
More than 200 pilgrims celebrate World Youth Day in Faisalabad
by Qaiser Felix
06/28/2009 VATICAN
Follow Saint Paul in one’s passion for Christ and the Gospel, says Pope
01/25/2009 VATICAN
Pope: Happy Chinese New Year, celebrating Saint Paul’s conversion

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.