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
Christmas monument erected on site of religious violence
The cross that stands for Christian resistanceYaadgar-e-Calvary is now the tallest cross in the country
- ucanews.com reporter, Shanti Nagar
- January 7, 2013
The tallest cross in the country was unveiled over the holidays, in what Church leaders say is a sign of resistance against persecution.
Yaadgar-e-Calvary (Calvary Monument), a soaring 18-meter cement cross, is the tallest religious symbol of Christianity in this Muslim country, according to local news channels.
“The new cross shouts that nothing can stop us from following our faith,” said Major Iftikhar Zahid, pastor of a local Salvation Army church.
Unveiled on Christmas Eve, the structure took 10 months to complete and cost more than 975,000 rupees (US$10,000), provided by a Karachi-based real estate businessman, Haroon Gill.
“I hope it will inspire similar structures in other Christian localities,” he said.
Gill was among thousands of Christians in Shanti Nagar, a village in Punjab, whose families were attacked in 1997 by Muslim mobs after an alleged desecration of a Qu'ran.
The government later reconstructed 785 houses and all the four churches destroyed, but villagers observe the anniversary of the attacks each year and some signs still remain.
“The attack is not mentioned on the plaque of Yaadgar-e-Calvary, which records village history,” pastor Zahid said. “It was a dark chapter, which should have never happened.”