KOENIGSTEIN, Germany, FEB. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).-Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, Pakistan, and two Muslim scholars have been receiving death threats for their efforts to establish interreligious dialogue.

A Muslim extremist group claimed responsibility for threatening letters and phone calls which branded the three men as infidels, AsiaNews reported.

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Coutts said he would not let himself be intimidated and that he would persist "with interreligious activities, in favor of social harmony and religious peace in the country."

The bishop added: "We have experienced the violence of certain extremist Muslim groups, a violence that in former times did not exist. This is for us a new phenomenon, which does not spring from the population in general, but from the promotion of this way of thinking within extremist groups."

Catholics account for 1.5 million of Pakistan's 165 million inhabitants.

Recent years have seen the development of positive relations between Christians and Muslims in Faisalabad, the third largest city of Pakistan, AsiaNews reported.
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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Resurrection

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Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom