Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
After bloody Ramadan, Pakistan marks Eid
Prayers carry extra significance in wake of attacks
An armed guard watches over Eid prayers in Quetta (AFP photo/Banras Khan)
- ucanews.com reporter, Karachi
- August 9, 2013
Devastated by a spate of terror strikes and rain-triggered floods during the fasting month of Ramadan, millions of Pakistanis on Friday began celebrating the annual Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims thronged to mosques across the country to start the day with prayers amid tight security, with all major mosques guarded by police.
In Pakistan’s Balochistan province, the day began with yet another gun assault that left 10 people killed outside a mosque on the outskirts of Quetta. Hours later, police claimed to have apprehended the suspected attackers.
“Eight suspects have been arrested and their weapons have been seized. They wanted to target former provincial minister Ali Madad Jatak,” said Bashir Barohi, a senior police official.
This comes a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral in Quetta, killing at least 38 people, mostly police officers. The deadly attack also marked the end of a bloody Ramadan in Pakistan.
In addition to acts of terrorism, floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains also killed 84 people across the country and displaced over 81,000 others, according to figures released by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The floods also damaged thousands of acres of crops and hundreds of homes, it said.
“Terrorist attacks have become a daily occurrence. The new government appears to be more inept than the previous one,” Rao Shafiq ur Rehman, a bank employee in Multan, said. “We had a lot of expectations, but not anymore. God save this country.”
“I have stopped watching TV news channels due to the unending coverage of violence. It only leads to depression and tension,” Samina Khan, a housewife, said.
Meanwhile, celebrations are going on in much of the country with traditional Eid dishes and family gatherings. While elders enjoyed special foods, young children received traditional gifts of money known as Eidi and gifts from their parents and other relatives.
In a special Eid message, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday urged the nation to forge unity on a national agenda against extremism and terrorism. “It was unfortunate that in this holy month of Ramadan, some elements have killed innocent people,” he said.