Church Pledges Support to Christians in Pakistan
“While Bhatti’s death is a great loss to the minority communities and Christians in Pakistan and also to the minorities in the world at large, the seed that he has sowed will certainly come to fruition one day.”
By John Malhotra
03/07/2011 Pakistan (Christian Today)-Condemning the assassination of Pakistan Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) today pledged its support to the initiatives of the churches and ecumenical councils in Pakistan to rout divisive forces and to promote peace and harmony in the country.
“We mourn with you in spirit. We sincerely hope and pray that there would be no further attacks on the minorities in the land of Pakistan and elsewhere,” Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, the general secretary of NCCI, said in a statement.
“While Bhatti’s death is a great loss to the minority communities and Christians in Pakistan and also to the minorities in the world at large, the seed that he has sowed will certainly come to fruition one day,” he said.
Bhatti was assassinated on Wednesday for speaking out against the blasphemy laws designated under Sharia law in the predominantly Muslim nation.
Two months ago, the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer was also gunned down for opposing the blasphemy law and speaking out against the death sentence of a Christian woman. Both Bhatti and Taseer supported the cause of the minorities who make up barely five percent of Pakistan’s population of 170 million.
The Federation of Indian American Christian organisations Saturday strongly condemned the murder of Bhatti and said it reflected the “religious intolerances” of the country.
“FIACONA strongly condemns this horrific killing of Shahbaz Bhatti, who was a prominent leader of the Christian minority in Pakistan. We offer our condolences to the bereaved family and all the Christians of Pakistan and also pray that the perpetrators of this dastardly crime be brought to justice,” Abraham Mammen, President of FIACONA, said in a statement.
Terming the murder as “horrific and sad”, FIACONA said that it reflected “the extreme pressures, prejudices and religious intolerances against Christians and other minorities in Pakistan”.
Last week, Christian organizations in Punjab held a demonstration at Indo-Pak international border against Bhatti’s killing and criticised the Pakistan government for its failure to protect the minority communities.
Christian groups from around the globe have expressed shock at Bhatti’s killing on Wednesday. They have called upon the Pakistan government to repeal the country’s controversial blasphemy law.