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
Churches unite after bin Laden death
Abbottabad Christians set up youth group security cordons in wake of terrorist's killingFather Akram Javed Gill, right, speaking at the meeting of Church leaders in Abbottabad
- Kamran Chaudhry, Abbottabad
- May 4, 2011
âThere was a not a single bombing here for about a decade of the war on terror," Â said Father Akram Javed Gill, chairman of the interdenominational Association of Churches of Hazara Division.
"Now we know the reason."
Bin Laden, the head of terror group Al Qaeda and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, was killed by US special forces in a raid on Monday in Abbottabad, Â a military garrison town about 60 km north of Islamabad. His home was near an elite military academy and the headquarters of several important regiments.
Martin Venoz, a Catholic Church council member, watched the operation unfold from his three-story house located a few meters from bin Ladenâs mansion.
âA window pane broke and two doors were damaged when the malfunctioning US helicopter was destroyed," he told ucanews.com.
Father Javed said today âthe shocking discoveryâ has put his city in spotlight and the threat of attacks has increased.
Banned extremist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has issued a threat that military and government officials are on their hit-list.
âWe have to revisit our security strategies in a manner without attracting undue attention," says elder Zakir Paul of Presbyterian Church.
"Youth groups will be deployed and more protection will be sought from police higher-ups."
The men gathered at the house of a Christian in a meeting organized by the association. The 10 participants included representatives from Catholic, Presbyterian, evangelical and Assemblies of God Church.
They discussed the Churches' role in maintaining peace and reviewed concerns arising amid minorities.
The Christians also agreed to meet the police hierarchy, although officers are âpreoccupied with their own securityâ, and seek protection.
Many locals, however, are not celebrating the death of bin Laden.
"Many claim he was a martyr. I saw a few women lawyers in tears yesterday in a court," said Paul, himself an attorney.
The meeting passed resolutions not to pass information over the phone, to discourage rumors and use Church venues to hold daily prayers for peace.
Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry voiced the feelings of the majority of Â Pakistanis when it criticized the US for "unauthorized unilateral action" that was carried out without prior information or authorisation from the government of Pakistan.
Islamic parties also organized in absentia funeral prayers and protest rallies against killing of hero of many in the Islamic world.
ucanews.com picture special: The House where bin Laden died
Archbishop warns of backlash over bin Laden
Abbottabad Church holds its breath