Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – To condemn vitiated inquiry, torture and inhumane treatment against young Christians Patras Masih and Sajid Masih; ask for concrete measures to stop the abuse of the blasphemy law, especially against religious minorities: these are the central themes of the protest organized yesterday, March 2, in Lahore by the "Pakistan Christian Action Committee" (PCAC), a body that collects and represents different Churches in Pakistan. As Fides learns, groups that promote human rights and civil society organizations joined the protest. Christian leaders such as Protestant Bishops Azad Marshall and Irfan Jamil were present; Fr. Qasir Feroz, in charge of the Communication Office for Catholic Bishops; Rev. Amjad Niamat of the Presbyterian Church and other leaders: all agreed to invite the government to control the violation of human rights and the Constitution of Pakistan.

The protesters are asking to set up an investigative team to look into the case of Patras Masih, the boy arrested for alleged blasphemy in the Shahdara neighborhood of Lahore, and to ascertain responsibility for the torture carried out by the police during interrogation. They asked to withdraw the charges against Sajid Masih and to investigate the sexual abuse that the police wanted to impose on the two young Christians during the interrogations (see Fides 20/2/2018 and 26/2/2018).

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – To condemn vitiated inquiry, torture and inhumane treatment against young Christians Patras Masih and Sajid Masih; ask for concrete measures to stop the abuse of the blasphemy law, especially against religious minorities: these are the central themes of the protest organized yesterday, March 2, in Lahore by the "Pakistan Christian Action Committee" (PCAC), a body that collects and represents different Churches in Pakistan. As Fides learns, groups that promote human rights and civil society organizations joined the protest. Christian leaders such as Protestant Bishops Azad Marshall and Irfan Jamil were present; Fr. Qasir Feroz, in charge of the Communication Office for Catholic Bishops; Rev. Amjad Niamat of the Presbyterian Church and other leaders: all agreed to invite the government to control the violation of human rights and the Constitution of Pakistan.
The protesters are asking to set up an investigative team to look into the case of Patras Masih, the boy arrested for alleged blasphemy in the Shahdara neighborhood of Lahore, and to ascertain responsibility for the torture carried out by the police during interrogation. They asked to withdraw the charges against Sajid Masih and to investigate the sexual abuse that the police wanted to impose on the two young Christians during the interrogations (see Fides 20/2/2018 and 26/2/2018).

"The civil administration and police of Lahore - says a document issued by the PCAC at the end of the protest - should ensure the security of the Christian population, particularly in the area of Shahdara, so that all displaced families can return to their homes". In fact, Christians had fled from their homes, fearing mass violence. "It is urgent to take concrete measures to stop the abuse of the blasphemy law, especially against religious minorities. The government of Punjab should work actively to instill inter-religious peace and harmony within the national action plan", said the statement sent to Agenzia Fides. The document recalls the sentence issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan concerning the protection of religious minorities on 19 June 2014, requesting its implementation "in the letter and in the spirit". The "Pakistan Christian Action Committee" will prepare a report and submit it to Parliament and the Commission on Human Rights. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 3/3/2018)

"The civil administration and police of Lahore - says a document issued by the PCAC at the end of the protest - should ensure the security of the Christian population, particularly in the area of Shahdara, so that all displaced families can return to their homes". In fact, Christians had fled from their homes, fearing mass violence. "It is urgent to take concrete measures to stop the abuse of the blasphemy law, especially against religious minorities. The government of Punjab should work actively to instill inter-religious peace and harmony within the national action plan", said the statement sent to Agenzia Fides. The document recalls the sentence issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan concerning the protection of religious minorities on 19 June 2014, requesting its implementation "in the letter and in the spirit". The "Pakistan Christian Action Committee" will prepare a report and submit it to Parliament and the Commission on Human Rights. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 3/3/2018)


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

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

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (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.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

According to the text, `We are the body of Christ and each of us is one of its members' (cf. 1 Cor. 12:27), we are said to be the body of Christ. We do not become this body through the loss of our own bodies; nor again because Christ's Body passes into us hypostatically or is divided into members; but rather because we conform to the likeness of the Lord's flesh by shaking off the corruption of sin. For just as Christ in His manhood was sinless by nature both in flesh and in soul, so we too who believe in Him, and have clothed ourselves in Him through the Spirit, can be without sin to Him if we so choose.

St. Maximus the Confessor, Second Century on Theology, Philokalia, V. 2