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An attack on all Pakistan

LAHORE (SE): As a sign that the attack on people gathered in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in the city of Lahore is an attack on all of Pakistan, candlelight vigils for the dead and wounded have been attended by people from all faiths and all walks of life.

Muslims, Hindus, Christians and other groups have joined hands in condemning the attack in the strongest possible way.

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Education should not promote ignorance

DHAKA (UCAN): In the aftermath of the Easter Sunday massacre in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, Christian religious leaders across Asia are calling for their counterparts from the Islamic faith to take a strong stand against Islamist extremists, as well as to promote reconciliation, forgiveness and a proper, balanced interpretation of religion.

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Martyr status for Bhatti

RAWALPINDI (SE): The diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi reported that it intends to open a process to have the former Catholic minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, who was assassinated on 2 March 2011, declared a martyr.

Vatican Radio reported that the diocese had already opened an investigation to collect evidence, as in a video he recorded to be released in the event of his death he said that he knew that he was a wanted man.

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Fleeing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

BANGKOK (AsiaNews): “Large numbers of Pakistanis have been arriving in Thailand, fleeing their country’s blasphemy laws, which has deprived them of their land and assets,” Father Domenico Rodighiero, a missionary with the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and pastor of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Saphanmai, a northern suburb of Bangkok, said.

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Fast against terrorism

LAHORE (AsiaNews): Human rights advocates from different religious backgrounds began a hunger strike on February 12 in protest against government inability to counter Islamic terrorism.

“2016 has just begun and already we have witnessed major terrorist attacks,” Samson Salamat, who heads the Christian Rwadari Tehreek (Movement for Tolerance), said.

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Taliban promises more attacks on schools

CHARSADDA (Agencies): “I was so afraid. My country is not safe, so how will I feel safe?” a student, Khyam Mashal, was quoted by CNN as saying following the January 20 attack by four suspected Taliban gunmen on Bacha Khan University Charsadda, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest of the Pakistan.

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Pakistan lifts YouTube ban

Islamabad (UCAN): In a move welcomed by Church officials, the government of Pakistan lifted its three-year ban on YouTube on January 18 following the launch of a localised version of the popular video-sharing website

A statement the Ministry of Information Technology said, “Google has recently launched a country (localised) version of YouTube and confirmed that YouTube.pk does not contain any known copies of the blasphemous movie Innocence of Muslims.” 

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Parish built thanks to Muslim generosity

 

FAILSALABAD (Agencies): The parish of Arooj-e-Mariam founded thanks to the good will and assistance with funding from local Muslims in Faisalabad, Pakistan, celebrated its 25th anniversary on December 21 last year.

In order to mark the occasion, parishioners have passed around the hat and have built a small grotto as a meeting place for prayer.

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Acquittal of child on blasphemy charges good precedent

 

ISLAMABAD (AsiaNews): Paul Bhatti, the special adviser to the prime minister of Pakistan on national harmony, called the acquittal of Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Catholic girl reported to be suffering from a mental disability, on charges of blasphemy by the High Court in Islamabad, on November 20, a source of double satisfaction.

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Bad year for religious freedom in Asia

 

ROME (UCAN): A new report released on October 17 in Rome by Aid to the Church in Need on the religious freedom of minority groups in Asia says that persecution of Christians has continued or worsened in many countries in Asia during the past 12 months.

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