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Pakistani Christians Want Shahbaz Bhatti Confirmed as “Martyr of the Church” on Fifth Anniversary of Assassination

pakistan_shahbaz_bhatti13/2/2016 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Christians in Pakistan want to see Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s sole Christian cabinet minister, officially confirmed as a “martyr of the church” by the Catholic Church on the fifth anniversary of his assassination.

On March 2, 2011, Bhatti was gunned down in Islamabad, Pakistan’s federal capital only months after the high profile assassination of Salman Taseer, then governor of Punjab. Both men were murdered for their public opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and for showing public support for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy in June 2009.

Following the fatal attack on Bhatti, police found a letter at the crime scene from the Tehrik-e-Taliban claiming responsibility for the murder, adding that Bhatti was killed for opposing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. To date, those responsible for Bhatti’s assassination have yet to be brought to justice.

Shamaun Alfred Gill, spokesperson for the All Pakistan Minority Alliance, the political party formed and led by Bhatti, told ICC, “A committee from the Vatican is reviewing Shahbaz Bhatti’s struggle for equal rights and gathering information on is murder. We are hoping that this outspoken hero of the nation will soon be given the official status of martyr by the Vatican for raising his voice for the voiceless in this country.

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Additional reading:

Pakistan church opens martyrdom cause for slain minister

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