"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Christians burned to death in Pakistan

Another story of Islamic intollerance in Pakistan. While these related news are circulating in media, not a single Muslim is condemning the attack. When will they ever take action on our behalf? Their silence is deafening!

[Article & Photo Source: Catholic Herald - By Will Heaven]

Eight Pakistani Christians ere killed, 50 homes destroyed and two churches burned when a rampaging mob of up to 3,000 Muslims tore hrough
the town of Gojra, in eastern Pakistan, last Saturday.

The victims, who included two young children, were either burned alive or shot.

The attacks were said to be among the bloodiest against Pakistani Christians in the country's history. Some of those killed were understood to be Catholics.

The mob gathered after rumours had spread that children had cut up a schoolbook which included verses from the Koran. The children had supposedly been making confetti for a local wedding.

As well as those killed, more than 20 people were injured in the attack as the mob, carrying sticks, clubs and a small number of firearms, took to the streets last weekend.

The attacks came two days after a related incident in the nearby village of Korian where gangs set fire to more than 70 Christian homes and two small Protestant churches.

A telegram was sent on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI to Bishop Joseph Coutts of the Catholic Diocese of Faisalabad. It said the Pontiff was "deeply grieved to learn of the senseless attack on the Christian community of Gojra city which resulted in the tragic killing of innocent men, women and children". The message also included condolences to the families of the victims and expressed solidarity with the survivors.

"In the name of God he appeals to everyone to renounce the way of violence, which causes so much suffering, and to embrace the way of peace," the telegram said.

The Pope asked Bishop Coutts to "encourage the whole diocesan community, and all Christians in Pakistan, not to be deterred in their efforts to help build a society which, with a profound sense of trust in religious and human values, is marked by mutual respect among all its members".

The bishop expressed his grief and anger after the attacks. Speaking from Pakistan in an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, the Catholic charity for persecuted Christians, Bishop Coutts said: "There is a lot of anger among the people about what has happened. Emotions are running extremely high. People could respond in any way. This is undoubtedly one of the worst attacks we have faced."

Bishop Coutts presided at the funerals of those killed in the Gojra violence last Sunday. He denounced the failure of the authorities to tackle the causes of the violence and criticised the police for not acting quickly to stop the mob, describing the official response to the violence as "half-hearted and ineffective".

The bishop said the number of recent attacks against Christians was a clear signal that their safety was being ignored.

He said: "In all these cases, the police did almost nothing to stop the rampaging mobs. Condolences, apologies and assurances always pour in from officials and other citizens after the event, but the timely action required to prevent such incidents has always been missing."

Bishop Coutts stressed the continuing need to work towards inter-religious cooperation.

On Tuesday the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, appealed to the government of Pakistan to ensure "that justice is done in the wake of these terrible events". Dr Williams also criticised Pakistan's "draconian laws against blasphemy".

Christian groups have repeatedly called for the repeal of Pakistan's 1986 blasphemy laws, which deal harshly with perceived "crimes of disrespect" towards the Koran or the Prophet Mohammed. Perpetrators of these crimes are liable to sentences of life imprisonment or the death penalty, according to the decrees of sharia law. Critics say the laws target Christians who have reportedly had 23 per cent of blasphemy cases brought against them, despite only representing three per cent of Pakistan's predominantly Muslim population.

John Pontifex, a spokesman for Aid to the Church in Need, said Pakistan's laws against blasphemy were encouraging vigilantism.
He said: "The blasphemy laws as they stand amount to mob rule, and we know that Christians are suffering persecution and vendettas at the hands of Pakistan's Muslim majority." Pakistan's missionary schools closed on Monday to mourn those who were killed in the violence.

Bishop Sadiq Daniel, head of the Anglican diocese in Karachi and the south-western Baluchistan province, said: "Christian schools will remain closed for three days from today to mourn the death of innocent people in Gojra."

He added: "There is no proof of blasphemy, but if someone has done that he, and not the entire community, should be punished."

Officials denied that rumours concerning the desecration of verses from the Koran had any basis.

Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minister for minorities, said authorities were also investigating reports that "masked men armed with explosives" were at the forefront of the violence,
indicating that Islamist militias were involved.

"Allegations of desecration of the Holy Koran, which were used as an excuse by banned [Islamist] groups to foment such a big scale of violence, were baseless and without grounds," he told a news conference on Monday.

Punjab's provincial police chief Tariq Salim Dogar said that 64 people had been arrested in connection with the attacks.

However, the head of the Catholic Church in Pakistan released a statement which complained that when Christians were attacked the culprits were "arrested but never brought to justice".

The statement also demanded that the Pakistani authorities decide on "a comprehensive policy" to eliminate "hate speeches" against other religions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated by the blog owner.

Thank you and God bless you.

My Blog List

My Calendar

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...