Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Pope tells Pakistani bishops to keep trying despite hardships

ICC Note: Pakistani bishops are being encouraged by Pope Benedict XVI to continue their ministry, despite the persecution they face as a religious minority. Please pray that these bishops will be able to face these hardships and continue with their ministry.

By John Thavis
6/19/08 Pakistan (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Pakistani bishops to persist in missionary efforts despite the hardships and burdens they face as a tiny religious minority.
The bishops, in a meeting with the pope June 19, spoke frankly of new difficulties in evangelizing in an increasingly hostile Islamic environment.
The country’s seven bishops, who minister to a little more than a million Pakistani Catholics, were making their consultative “ad limina” visits to the Vatican.
Archbishop Lawrence J. Saldanha of Lahore , president of the Pakistani bishops’ conference, told the pope in an address that in the past the Catholic Church was held in high esteem for its educational and medical services.
“But today we carry out our mission in a hostile and conservative Islamic milieu that is increasingly extremist, intolerant and militant. There is growing pressure to enforce the Shariah or Islamic way of life,” he said.
“Islamic laws like the blasphemy law have brought death and misery to many innocent people. There is also a trend of forced conversion to Islam by certain religious extremist groups,” he said.
The pope responded with a general exhortation to missionary perseverance.

[Go to full story]