Rome Newsroom, Jan 15, 2021 / 07:00 am
The diocese of Rome will host a memorial Mass on Friday for Servant of God Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic politician in Pakistan assassinated by an Islamic terrorist group 10 years ago.
Bhatti served as Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Minorities Affairs from 2008 to 2011. He advocated for four member seats for religious minority candidates in Pakistan’s senate and spoke out against religious persecution, especially the misuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
At the time of his death, he was the only Christian in Pakistan’s federal cabinet. He was gunned down by members of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan while driving in Islamabad on March 2, 2011, after receiving death threats for more than a year.
Following his death, Catholic bishops in Pakistan called for the pope to recognize him as a “martyr and patron of religious freedom.”