ASIA/PAKISTAN - Archbishop Coutts: “Our mission is to spread love in a context of violence and terrorism”

Monday, 29 February 2016 blasphemy   religious minorities   religious freedom   persecutions  

in the centre Archbishop Joseph Coutts

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – “As Pakistani Christians we face numerous challenges every day: many will have heard of the so-called blasphemy law and the emblematic case of Asia Bibi, an innocent Christian mother sentenced to death. Our daily mission is to bear witness to peace and to love where there is so much violence in this country torn apart by terrorism. As Christians our mission is love and love of Christ helps us not to lose hope ”: Fides was told by Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi, presently in Italy for a series of meetings organised by the Papal Foundation “Aid to the Church in Need” to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Pakistani Catholic MP murdered in Islamabad on 2 March 2011.
“We will commemorate Bhatti on the 4th March in the church of saint Bartholomew in Rome” said Mons Coutts and regarding the legacy of Mr Bhatti he added: “He spoke with faith and demonstrated courage. Thanks to him the voice of Pakistan’s Christians was heard. He paved the way for us. He was a good Catholic and gave his life for his mission. He was killed because he was a Christian. Although urged by many people to leave the country because of the threats he received, he chose to remain in Pakistan to carry out his mission to the end”. “It falls to the Catholic Bishop of Islamabad, the city where he was martyred , to open an enquiry and start a diocesan process to proclaim Bhatti a martyr. A process of which I am in favour ” he concluded. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 29/2/2016)