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
Minorities fear mounting violence
Wave of violence which has claimed more than 400 lives since last month claims ChristiansGrave of a Christian victim of the Karachi violence
- Sunny Gill, Karachi
- August 11, 2011
More than 1,200 attended the memorial mass for Arnold Archie Dass, a Christian businessman on August 9 at the Methodist Christ Church in Karachi. Daas, 38, was shot dead on August 6 at a busy crossroads in an attempted carjack.
â€śWe are tired of funerals. The government should step up to stop those who kill the innocentâ€ť, said Alma Spanley (one of Daasâ€™ five sisters) after prayers for her brother.
Daas was one of two Christians caught in the wave of violence which has claimed more than 400 lives since last month. Most of the victims are activists of rival political parties in the seaport. A recent report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 1,138 people were killed in Karachi in the first six months this year.
Sunday congregation has been shrinking in Karachi churches as law enforcement agencies continue search operations around the city. The archdiocese also cancelled a gathering of Sunday school children last month. Last year a priest lost six close relatives including his sister in a bomb blast at a hospital in Karachi.
Father Nazar Nawab also expressed grief at the government inaction. â€śPeople are crying but nobody is listening. Continual strikes and exchanges of gun shots are affecting the attendance of the congregationâ€ť, said the parish priest of St Johnâ€™s Church located on Drigh Road.
Franciscan Bishop Sebastian Shah of Lahore said the financial hub is being ripped apart on a linguistic basis. â€śEven a comment from a Punjabi bishop can be dangerous for Karachi locals who have been in the grip of ethnic and sectarian violence for years. We are praying for peace and harmony in the troubled archdioceseâ€ť, he said.
Church promotes peace amid escalating violence
Community shocked as killings continue