Pressemelding fra Den nordiske bispekonferansen

nullI en pressemelding fordømmer Den nordiske bispekonferansen drapet på den pakistanske minoritetsminister Shahbaz Bhatti, og ber samtidig pakistanske myndigheter om å sikre religionsfriheten og bekjempe ekstremister. Under følger hele teksten:

The presence of numerous Pakistani immigrants in the Nordic countries leads us to express our great grief over the recent assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani minister for minorities, killed, in Islamabad, at the age of 42 by a group of religious extremists. Inspired by a living faith in Christ, he always was a defender of the oppressed since his early youth.

The catholic bishops of the Nordic countries do congratulate the Christian community in Pakistan on having increased the number of peaceful manifestations - often together with Muslims - and on having organized vigils of prayer in all cities of the country, as well as published an ecumenical declaration in which they have called upon the State for "the question of protecting the religious minorities and their lives and freedom" and "stopping extremism in Pakistan".

We express our condolences to the Pakistani Catholic community and ask the political leaders of our Nordic countries to call upon the Pakistani government to undertake the investigations necessary to identify and prosecute the assassins and to protect all religious minorities in full respect of the religious freedom and the constitutional state in Pakistan.

At the beginning of this year 2011, our Nordic Bishops' Conference had already declared: "We ask the governments of our Nordic countries to defend the right to religious freedom and to take action in order to protect all religious minorities in the Middle East and in other parts of the world." Considering the desperate need of international aid, we welcome as providential the coming meeting of Assisi with the leaders of all religions.

Bishop Peter Bürcher, President of Justice and Peace of the NBK

March 2011