"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, October 3, 2009

Vatican to Pakistan: End discrimination of Christians



Article Source: Rome Reports

October 1, 2009. The pope welcomed Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari to Castel Gandolfo.

In the exchange of official gifts, President Zardari gave the pope a rug from his country, and in return the pope gave him a portrait of St. Peter’s Square and medals from his pontificate.

During the meeting, the president and the pope touched on issues like the fight against terrorism and the role of the Church in Pakistan in providing health and education services.

They also talked about the wave of recent violence against Christians in the country which has grown increasingly worse in the last months.

In August, Benedict sent a telegram to the Bishop of Faisalabad expressing solidarity after seven Christians were burnt alive in Pakistan.

The Vatican has asked Pakistan to make an effort in putting an end to discrimination against Christians and in respecting the human rights of all citizens.

About 2.8 million people, just over 1% of the total population of Pakistan, is Christian making it a vulnerable demographic to extremist groups in the country.

RS

Other news, "Islamic extremists in Somalia hunting Christians" thanks to Mission Network News:

Somalia (MNN) ― Somalia's Muslim militants are hunting down converts to Christianity. According to Voice of the Martyrs Canada, Al-Shabaab members have murdered 14 believers since July 15.

Compass Direct News reports the September 15 shooting death of 69-year-old Omar Khalafe, an underground Christian who had Bibles in his possession.

On the day of his death, Khalafe was carrying 25 Somali Bibles he hoped to deliver to an underground fellowship in Somalia. At a checkpoint controlled by al Shabaab--a rebel group linked with al Qaeda which has taken over large parts of the war-torn country--bus passengers were ordered to disembark for inspection.

Voice of the Martyrs Canada and Compass Direct reports agree on the events following the discovery of the Bibles.

The assailants used photos they found to determine if they could match the faces to any passengers. When they noticed a resemblance to Khalafe, they asked if the Bibles were his. The radicals shot and killed him when he did not respond.

Militants then displayed his body in Merca along with the Bibles as a warning to others. Later that day, a militant reported Khalafe's death on a radio program.

Khalafe, who had been a Christian for 45 years, was active in sharing the Good News and baptizing converts from Islam.

Khalafe's family is in mourning, but due to the risk of exposure, his wife and seven children were unable to participate in his burial because of the risk of being killed by militants, reports Compass Direct.

Despite the shock and brutality of Khalafe's death, the hope of the Gospel is still going forward through the underground church. Keep praying for wisdom for the workers who continue to follow Christ.


Another news of persecuted Catholics in a Muslim-dominated country. Thanks to AsiaNews for this article.

Catholic university student attacked by Muslim extremists in a public park in Dhaka

Dhaka (Asia News)
– Members of an Islamist group, Hizbut Tawhid, attacked a Christian student in Dhaka, after they accused him of criticising Muhammad. Last Sunday Anup Rodrigues, a 25-year-old Catholic university student, had just left the Holy Rosary Church after evening Mass.

Anup was sitting at a bench in Farmgate Park, waiting for friends when four unidentified men, dressed in traditional Muslim garb, attacked him from behind. In the course of the assault, one of the attackers began accusing him of insulting the prophet, describing Christians as a “curse on the nation”, who want to convert Muslims.

“They started beating me with iron rods and bamboo sticks, without letting say a word,” the student said. “As they were pounding away at me, I prayed to Our Lady to save me. When they relented for a moment I was able to get away.”
“After the attack I stopped to think about what had happened and why they attacked me,” the young man told AsiaNews.

“I remembered then that a week before I was in the park with friends where we talked about prophets in the various religions. One of the men who attacked me was sitting across from us. He told us that he belonged to Hizbut Tawhid and that they had a duty to carry out jihad to punish people like us.”
Now Anup is afraid for his life, that of his friends and his two brothers who, like him, attend university. A month ago, someone killed a Baptist Christian named Swopon in the same area.

For this reason, Anup and his mother, Monica, have not filed a complaint with police. They place little trust in law enforcement since the young man’s father, Peter, and uncle, Paul, disappeared at work on 17 August 2006.

Monica Rodrigues turned to police after she received a ransom note, but the investigations have led nowhere.

Now, after the attack against Anup, she fears she might lose her sons, and remains at a loss as to who might help her
.


You are always in our prayers brothers and sisters. We also pray for our persecutors and love our enemies for this is how the world recognizes our being Christians.

God bless you.

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