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

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

Today the Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Christ is Risen! 
O the marvel! the forbearance! the immeasurable meekness! 
The Untouched is felt; the Master is held by a servant, 
And He reveals His wounds to one of His inner circle. 
Seeing these wounds, the whole Creation was shaken at the time. 
Thomas, when he was considered worthy of such gifts, 
Lifted up a prayer to the One Who deemed him worthy, 
Saying, "Bear my rashness with patience, 
Have pity on my unworthiness and lighten the burden 
Of my lack of faith, so that I may sing and cry, 
`Thou art our Lord and God.'" 


Kontakia of Romanos, V. 1, On Doubting Thomas