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
Bullet removed from Taliban victim aged 14
Girl was targeted and shot for championing female educationMalala Yousafzai receiving an accolade for her work
- ucanews.com reporter, Peshawar
- October 10, 2012
According to reports, Malala was attacked while returning from school with fellow students. Taliban gunmen surrounded their van and personally identified Malala before shooting at her from close range. Two other girls were also injured, one of them seriously.
A hunt continues for the Taliban militants who claimed responsibility for the attack, and who accusedÂ MalalaÂ of beingÂ Western-minded and speaking against them.
MalalaÂ came into the spotlight in 2009 Â after theÂ PakistanÂ army seized the Swat Valley from Taliban control. Under their regime, the Taliban had banned female education,Â which prompted Malala to start writing a diary for BBC Urdu under the pseudonym â€śGul Makai.â€ť
After the Taliban was ousted and her true identity came to light, the diary brought her a great deal of media attention and she came to be known as a champion for the cause.
The attack has drawn global condemnation, with theÂ US calling it "barbaric" and "cowardly." The Pakistani president as well as religious and political parties expressed concern for the girlâ€™s wellbeing.
The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), which awarded a shield of encouragement to MalalaÂ last year, said the shooting is an eye-opener on the effects of militancy on children.
â€śMinor boys are being recruited by militants, while girls are forced to stay at home in Taliban occupied regions. Still the state chooses to ignore the issue,â€ť said Sajjad Cheema, SPARC regional manager.
â€śThis high profile kid was left at the mercy of militants. Authorities have to make sure the valley is completely secured,â€ť she said.
Media reports say more than 800 schools were destroyed in the Swat Valley while under Taliban control.
Father Nasir William of St. Michaelâ€™s Church, situated near the hospital, dedicated morning Mass to Malala.
â€śShe is more courageous than any of us,â€ť he said. â€śHer vision encourages educators like me. She knew the inherent dangers but still raised her voice against oppression.â€ť
Child soldiers and workers numbers rise