Napi

Napi Kristen Pakistan Ditemukan Meninggal

Seorang pria Kristen Pakistan yang tahun lalu dipenjara karena tuduhan penghujatan ditemukan mati kemarin pagi (15/3) menurut pihak berwenang di negara tersebut. Qamar David, dituduh tahun 2006 dan sejak itu dipenjara, meninggal karena serangan jantung yang beberapa kali sudah dia derita. “Tidak ada keraguan tentang kematiannya, dia meninggal karena sebab-sebab alamiah,” kata Inspektur Umum Penjara Ghulam Qadir Thebo kepada BBC.

“Investigasi kami tidak menghasilkan bukti ada permainan kotor di sini,” katanya sambil menambahkan bahwa David berada di penjara yang hanya terdapat orang Kristen di sana. “Tidak ada bukti dia dibunuh.” Saat ini mayat David dibawa ke Rumah Sakit Umum di Karachi untuk diotopsi mengenai penyebab kematiannya.

Berbeda dengan pihak berwenang Pakistan, teman-teman dan keluarga David tidak percaya dia meninggal karena sakit jantung, sambil menambahkan bahwa David berada dalam kondisi fisik yang sehat dan dia tidak pernah mengeluh mengenai suatu penyakit, meskipun dia menerima ancaman terhadap keselamatannya.

David merupakan seorang pebisnis sebelum dia ditangkap. Dia dituduh menghujat oleh lawan bisnisnya. 25 Februari 2010, seorang hakim Karachi memutuskan David bersalah karena menentang nabi Muhammad dan memutuskan hukum seumur hidup bagi David. David dituduh menentang undang-undang Section 295-A karena penghujatan dan Section 295-C karena menentang Muhammad. David juga harus membayar 100.000 rupees ($1.170)

“Saya sangat berduka. Komunitas Kristen belum selesai berduka karena kehilangan Bhatti Shabaz dan berita ini membuat saya menaruh lebih banyak perhatian tentang masa depan umat Kristen di Pakistan,” kata Uskup Katolik di Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Fr. Rufin Anthony. “Berapa banyak lagi darah yang harus tercurah untuk mengerti bahwa hukum penghujatan harus dihentikan? Berapa banyak lagi darah yang diinginkan pemerintah tercurah di tangan mereka?”

Pakistan butuh kita. Mereka berada di bawah ancaman hukuman mati karena iman yang mereka pegang di dalam Yesus. Kita berikan waktu kita untuk berdoa bagi mereka dan bagi orang-orang lain yang membutuhkan doa penguatan dari umat Kristen di seluruh dunia.

Source : christianpost/lh3

VATICAN DECRIES MURDER OF PAKISTANI OFFICIAL

Reiterates Pope’s Call for Religious Freedom

By Kathleen Naab

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A Vatican spokesman is reiterating Benedict XVI’s call for religious freedom as the Pakistani minister for minorities was killed today.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, released a statement regarding the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, who was shot repeatedly as he left his mother’s home in Islamabad.

Bhatti, himself a Catholic, opposed Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws, which can impose the death penalty for actions judged to insult Mohammed. These laws are decried by human rights advocates around the world as a method to repress minorities. They garnered international attention again recently due to the death penalty being handed down to a Christian woman, Asia Bibi.

Bhatti is the second Pakistani official to be murdered for his opposition to the laws in as many months. Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province, was killed in early January by his bodyguard.

Father Lombardi called today’s assassination “another terrible episode of violence.”

“It shows how right the Pope is in his persistent remarks concerning violence against Christians and against religious freedom in general,” he said.

Father Lombardi noted that Bhatti was the first Catholic to hold such an office in the Pakistani government and he recalled the official’s meeting with the Pope last September.

“[H]e bore witness to his own commitment to peaceful coexistence among the religious communities of his country,” Father Lombardi said.

The Vatican statement concluded with a call to respect religious freedom: “Our prayers for the victim, our condemnation for this unspeakable act of violence, our closeness to Pakistani Christians who suffer hatred, are accompanied by an appeal that everyone may become aware of the urgent importance of defending both religious freedom and Christians who are subject to violence and persecution.”

Christians and Hindus make up only about 5% of Pakistan’s 184 million people. Shia Muslims are also a minority, with Sunni Muslims being 75% of the population.

An official with the U.S. bishops’ council shared his remorse at Bhatti’s death. Father James Massa, executive director of the bishops’ Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, told ZENIT that he met with Bhatti about a month ago in Washington.

Father Massa called Bhatti a “gentle, wise and determined man” and said he was a “devout Catholic and committed advocate for the human rights of all people in his country.”

“Shahbaz was striking in being completely lacking in fear or the slightest animosity toward those who were sending him regular death threats,” Father Massa added.

Unconditioned support?

Meanwhile, a Catholic charity in England decried a government announcement promising more British aid for Pakistan.

Neville Kyrke-Smith, director of the U.K. office of Aid to the Church in Need, asked how Britain can plan to increase aid to a country where “religious freedom is not upheld and those who are against the infamous blasphemy laws are not protected and just gunned down?”

The U.K. International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, indicated that aid could more than double, exceeding £445 million ($725 million) a year. According to the BBC, Mitchell said the aid reflects compassion as it is designated for some of the world’s poor, and comes with urging for Pakistani economic and government reform.

Kyrke-Smith, however, urged focus on human rights. “Pressure should be put on the Pakistan government to ensure religious freedom – you cannot provide aid without commitment to human rights.”

He called for Pakistani resolve to protect Christians and other religious minorities, including Shia Muslims.