ASIA/PAKISTAN - Protests against the blasphemous film: religious leaders demand respect, harmony and peace
Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - The protests against the blasphemous film about Muhammad "The Innocence of Muslims" inflame Pakistan: in all provinces there are continuous demonstrations, while religious leaders try to quell the spirits and restore harmony.
In Karachi, the great metropolis of the province of Sindh (in the South), demonstrators of the radical movement "Sunni Tehreek" took to the streets yesterday in the center, paralyzing the city. Also in Sindh, marches were held in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Jacobabad and Mirpur Khas. In Punjab, the country's key province, extremist groups gathered outside the U.S. consulate in Lahore, and Muslim students took to the streets. In Dera Ismail Khan a massive student demonstration chanted condemning slogans, while University students of Bahauddin Zakariya protested in Multan. In Peshawar, in the North of the country, the police used tear gas to deter protesters from going in front of the American consulate.
An appeal for calm has come from religious leaders of the "National Council for Interreligious Dialogue", consisting of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh leaders and from other faiths, and led by the Franciscan Father Francis Nadeem OFM Cap, Lahore. As reported to Fides, in a joint statement the leaders express their full solidarity with the Muslims, and pray for the filmmakers so that "they use their talents not to offend but to promote world peace and social harmony." The Council, noting that the Pakistani institutions are committed to respecting all religions, ask the United Nations to take action against the abuse of freedom of expression.
Yesterday, during Masses, Christians recited special prayers for peace in Pakistan. The pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Lahore, Fr. Inayat Bernard, said: "We are close to our Muslim brothers and sisters in promoting respect for all religions." (PA-IB) (Agenzia Fides 19/09/2012)
- 2015-05-30 - Jinnha Institute: difficult life for religious minorities
- 2015-05-29 - Innocent victims of blasphemy are forced to leave the country
- 2015-05-29 - Church destroyed and six Christians beaten in Punjab
- 2015-05-28 - ASIA/PAKISTAN – Children do not go to school in order to beg in the street
- 2015-05-28 - "The Church's mission continues despite terrorism", says the Director of the PMS
- 2015-05-27 - ASIA/PAKISTAN – Changes to the blasphemy law: the government's bill, Christians approve
- 2015-05-26 - Christian lawyers: "The blasphemy law has to be abolished"
- 2015-05-25 - Accusation of blasphemy: violence in a Christian area in Lahore, but "no alarmism"
- 2015-05-22 - 106 indicted for the murder of two Christians burned alive: "A step towards justice"
- 2015-05-21 - Punjab moves to protect women victims of violence