KARACHI, Pakistan - The terrorist attack that killed more than 70 people in a Lahore park on Easter was not the first time that Christians in the Islamic country have been targeted, and observers say that, as things stand, it will not be the last time.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis appealed to the government of Pakistan to take steps to ensure the safety of the country's Christians and other minorities the day after a terrorist bombing killed at least 70 people and injured more than 300 who were spending Easter afternoon in a public park.

Published in International

OTTAWA - It’s been five years since the assassination of Pakistani Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, but his religious freedom legacy lives on in Canada and around the world. 

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY - As the death toll from an earthquake in Pakistan and Afghanistan continued to rise, Pope Francis called for prayers and concrete aid for survivors.

Published in International

LAHORE, Pakistan - A Pakistani court has directed the Punjab provincial government and police to give the father of death row convict Asia Bibi prison visitation rights, a family lawyer said.

Published in International

KARACHI, Pakistan - The human rights body of Pakistan's Catholic Church pleaded with President Mamnoon Hussain to grant clemency to a Christian death row convict who was a juvenile at the time of the alleged crime.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Italian police arrested at least nine people in what officials described as a terrorist cell that had planned, in 2010, to strike at the Vatican with a suicide bomber.

Published in Vatican

VAUGHAN, ONT. - About 100 Pakistani Christians and supporters held a peaceful demonstration outside the Pakistani Consulate north of Toronto on Mar. 20 in response to the deadly bombing four days earlier of two churches in Lahore, Pakistan.

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY - Condemning deadly terrorist attacks against a Catholic and an Anglican church in Pakistan, Pope Francis said "the world is trying to hide" a wave of anti-Christian persecution in various parts of the globe.

Published in International

NEW DELHI - The Catholic Church in Pakistan has joined the chorus of condemnation of the deadly attack by Taliban on an army school in Peshawar that has left at least 126 children and others dead and 250 injured.

Published in International

CANTERBURY, England - As a 17-year-old convert to Christianity living in Pakistan, Ali (not his real name) was stabbed in the chest and left for dead by Muslims upset he had rejected their faith.

Published in International

THRISSUR, India - The Catholic Church in Pakistan has presented a series of demands to the government, calling for a fair and thorough investigation into the beatings and burning of a young Christian couple accused of desecrating the Quran.

Published in International

THRISSUR, India - Catholic leaders in Pakistan protested the Nov. 4 beatings and burning of a young Christian couple accused of desecrating the Quran.

Published in International

Media reports this past week about the anti-blasphemy law in Pakistan got me angry, then it got me thinking.

Published in Robert Brehl

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNS) -- The Islamabad High Court ordered police to dismiss blasphemy charges against a Christian Pakistani girl whose arrest and detention drew international condemnation.

The ruling from Chief Justice Iqbal Hammeed ur Rehman Nov. 19 said there was no evidence that Rimsha Masih burned papers from the Quran, reported Pakistan's Dawn news agency.

"The court has quashed the case, declaring Rimsha innocent," Akmal Bhatti, the girl's attorney, told Agence France-Presse.
Rimsha was taken into police custody Aug. 18 after a resident of the area in which the girl and her family lived accused her of burning pages of the Islamic holy book. She was released on bail Sept. 8.

Two weeks after Rimsha was picked up, Khalid Jadoon Chishti, the imam or prayer leader who accused her of burning pages of the Quran, was taken into police custody. According to a police official quoted by the Associated Press, witnesses claim the imam tore pages from a Quran and planted them along with burned pieces of paper in the girl's bag.

He faces charges of planting evidence and desecrating the Quran used against the girl. The courts have yet to rule in the case.
Rimsha's parents said she is 11 years old and has Down syndrome; a court-appointed physician reported she was about 14 and is developmentally delayed.

Paul Bhatti, the only Christian member of Pakistan's federal cabinet, confirmed the high court had dismissed the case.

"I welcome this order. Justice has been done and the law of the land has been upheld by the court," he told Agence France-Presse.

"It will send out a positive image of Pakistan in the international community that there is justice for all and that society has risen up for justice and intolerance," he said.

Out of fear for their safety, Rimsha and her family moved to an undisclosed location after the girl's release.

Published in International
Page 3 of 4