Pakistan (MNN) ― An advocate for Christians in Pakistan will be laid to rest today, and the government is observing three days of mourning.
Even as Pakistan’s clerics and other senior leaders condemned Wednesday’s assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Christians took to the streets in Lahore, expressing their ire.
Bhatti was the federal minister of minority affairs, as well as the only Christian in the cabinet. Anger stirred over the lack of protection for those championing the cause of the oppressed Christians.
By Thursday, demonstrations were held across Punjab, where Governor Salman Taseer was murdered in January. Both were outspoken opponents of the controversial blasphemy law, and both had faced down death threats to keep speaking out about the injustices of the law.
However, other politicians may be afraid of speaking out on the blasphemy law, which is now politically toxic and potentially life-threatening.
Peter Howard, Director of Relief for Food for the Hungry, says as part of their response to the flooding last August, they have been partnering with the Interfaith League Against Poverty (ILAP) in the Punjab area.
The recent events make a challenging environment for their team. “An assassination like this puts a real damper on the kind of work we’re doing as Food for the Hungry, and many other organizations, who are in Pakistan trying to serve the needs of the poor and to bring a message of peace.”
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