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
Bishops reject government land offer
Accuse authorities of lying over Gosha e Aman demolitionA truck leading Christian protesters in Lahore
- ucanews.com reporter, Lahore
- January 17, 2012
Provincial Minister for Minorities Kamran Michael announced on January 15 that the action taken at the Gosha e Aman missionary institute was a land retrieval operation ordered by the chief minister against criminal elements.
âHe has also directed me to give the Church 1,264 square meters of adjacent land for welfare services and to reconstruct a school and a home for the elderly,â Michael told a press conference, adding that some people were deliberately trying to mislead the Christian community.
The sanctity and protection of religious things will be ensured in future, he promised.
However, Bishop Sebastian Shah of Lahore and Church of Pakistan Bishop Alexander John Malik dismissed the governmentâs version of events and its offer of land.
âThey saidÂ nobody owned the land and mysterious activities were happening here; itâs a pack of lies. We were kept in darkâ, said Bishop Malik during a protest yesterday in front of the demolished building.
More than 2,000 people including bishops, priests and pastors shouted anti-government slogans and blocked traffic close to the demolition site for two hours.
Several Catholic priests demanded a judicial inquiry.
âWe shall continue protesting until the government returns all the land it took and pays for the losses. We do not fear anyone and will fight for our rightsâ, said Father Morris Jalal.
Former Church of Pakistan Bishop Mano Rumalshah of Peshawar also demanded that those who desecrated the chapel, crosses, copies of the Bible and other religious items be punished.
âA single torn [Quâran] page would create havoc and cause the burning of villages and towns. We demand an apology for the hurt caused to us.â
Church campaigns against âland grabâ
Christians protest chapel demolition