Peace Campaigners Stage Rally

Posted by Simon Cross  ·  Be the first to comment

Peace campaigners are organising a concert and rally to mark the first anniversary of the assassination of Pakistan politician Shahbaz Bhatti.

The London based event will honour the memory and cause of Mr Bhatte, who was killed after speaking out against the country's blasphemy laws.

Mr Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, was shot dead by an armed gang while travelling to work in Islamabad. He had received numerous death threats after he campaigned for Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who was sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws, to be pardoned.

The peace rally will take place on March 10th, and will start at 11am with a protest outside the Pakistan High Commission, in London, calling for the abolition of the country's blasphemy laws.

Following the submission of a petition to 10 Downing Street, there will be a concert in Trafalgar Square starting at 3pm.

Speakers on the day will include Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church in the UK, Baroness Cox, Matthew Jones from Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and John Pontifex from Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

The event is being organised by the British Pakistani Christian Association, which represents the 8000 strong Pakistani Christians in the UK.

Event organiser, and chair of the British Pakistani Christian Association, Wilson Chowdhry said that the relatively small numbers of Pakistani believers in the UK made organising this kind of event difficult.

He said: "With only 8,174 Pakistani Christians in the UK spread across a wide area it is difficult to organise large protests or petitions against the continued attacks on Christians in Pakistan – so we are pleased that so many of our brothers and sisters from other Christian communities will be joining with us on 10 March.

"Working with other groups such as Christian Concern and Aid to the Church in Need, has shown us that collaboratively we can achieve much more – and this year we will be joined by Coptic Christians and Armenian Christians who are also suffering from religious persecution.

"People who feel compassion for these affected minorities should join us in calling for UK Government intervention – quite simply, only your presence on 10 March will make this event a success."

31st January

January 31st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross

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