ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christians and activists commemorate Shahbaz Bhatti and demonstrate against sectarian violence

Monday, 4 March 2013

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - Commemorate the "martyr" Shahbaz Bhatti, on the second anniversary of his death on March 2, 2011; condemn sectarian violence and terrorism that cause so much bloodshed and innocent victims, such as Shiite worshipers killed in the recent attack in Karachi that killed 45 people and left many injured. With this spirit, the Commission "Justice and Peace" of the Archdiocese of Karachi held a public demonstration on 2 March, which included a moment of ecumenical prayer and then a peace march through the streets of the city. As reported to Fides, the demonstration was attended by Archbishop Joseph Coutts and many other Christian and Muslim leaders, who marched together for the values of peace, harmony, tolerance, respect for human dignity.
Celebrations to commemorate Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic minister killed two years ago, were held in numerous churches and cities of Pakistan. In Islamabad, a meeting brought together Christians, human rights activists and members of civil society organizations that, in the current delicate political moment, underline Bhatti’s commitment for democracy, for the rule of law, for human rights. The participants noted that "Shahbaz Bhatti fought against injustice and for this reason radical groups killed him." Even in Lahore, capital of Punjab, many Christian and Muslim citizens came together, demonstrating publicly in front of the headquarters of the Stampadi Lahore Association, re-launching the challenges and issues dear to Shahbaz Bhatti, such as inter-religious dialogue and respect for minorities. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 04/03/2013)