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.

Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The hour of death will come upon us, it will come, and we shall not escape it. May the prince of this world and of the air (cf. John 14:30; Eph. 2:2) find our misdeeds few and petty when he comes, so that he will not have good grounds for convicting us. Otherwise we shall weep in vain. 'For that servant who knew his lord's will and did not do it as a servant, shall be beaten with many stripes' (cf. Luke 12:47).

St. Hesychius the Priest