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
Workers demand Easter holiday
Discrimination against Christians allegedSanitation workers in Lahore
- ucanews.com reporter, Lahore
- March 28, 2013
Hundreds of Christians protested in Lahore yesterday against alleged discrimination and demanded Easter holidays.
Chanting anti-government slogans, sanitation workers demanded Good Friday and Easter Monday off. They also want to be recognized as permanent, full time workers.
“The companies must respect our holy week. We are already deprived of worship services, since Sunday became a working day," said Mushtaq Asi, president of the Sweeper’ Union. "These are all attempts to aggravate religious hatred."
Last year the Punjab government launched a new solid waste management system in the provincial metropolis of about 10 million people. According to the union, 7,486 Christian sanitary workers in Lahore earn 300 rupees (US$3) a day.
“There are no holidays at all," Asi said.
"We are a poor community, yet our salary is deducted if we arrive a few minutes late. Also there are many sweepers from minorities working on daily wages even after more than a decade of service. The Muslim workers, on the other hand, enjoy all allowances and benefits," he said.
Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry, managing director of the Lahore Waste Management Company, denied the allegations of discrimination.
“They are a bunch of retired workers with no affiliation with the company any more," he said. "The decision of making an employee permanent comes from the government; we cannot do that.
“We know they are poor and pay them if they are needed on a public holiday," he said.