If any of you have followed the sad, sad history of Pakistan and how Christians are treated there, you’ll likely know the name Shahbaz Bhatti.
He is a former government official who, among other things, sought to defend Asia Bibi against trumped up blasphemy charges.
He stood up for Christians and other religious minorities and their rights. He worked to change his nation for the better. And on March 2, 2011 …
He was assassinated for his efforts in a drive-by shooting.
Now the bishops of Pakistan are moving forward in their efforts to have Bhatti declared a martyr. You can read about it here. And you can read an article I did several years ago on the situation facing Christians in Pakistan here.
Certainly it was his faith that prompted him to do the work he did, he proudly proclaimed his faith, and it was hatred of the faith that got him killed. Hence it would seem he fits the criteria. But the Vatican has to make that call.
Let’s keep this effort in our prayers. Let us also keep all Pakistani Christians in our prayers. As I write this, a Pakistani Christian human rights lawyer has had to flee the country or risk a fate such as Bhatti’s simply because he stood up for his people. He has to wait to bring his family here, he is without a way of supporting himself, and his refugee status is being adjudicated, meaning he could get sent back. This is what life is like for these people. Please. Keep them in prayer.