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
Protesters sign Pakistan petition
London demonstration calls for protection for Christians and other minorities against extremismA piper leads the protest marchers through London (photo: Aid to the Church in Need)
- United Kingdom
- July 5, 2011
They called for action to protect Christians and other minorities in Pakistan.
They were delivered at the start and end of a two-mile protest march on July 2 by 300 people, highlighting human rights violations in Pakistan and organized by the British Pakistani Christian Association.
Another petition, signed by 4,500 people, called for the release of the Christian mother-of-five Asia Bibi, sentenced to death in Pakistan under the much-criticized blasphemy laws.
In a speech, Imam Dr Taj Hargey, from the Muslim Educational Centre in Oxford, condemned Pakistani extremists carrying out violence in the name of the blasphemy laws.
‚ÄúThe people who carry out such violence malign my faith and bring it into disrepute. They stand for everything I am against,‚ÄĚ he said, quoting sources showing the Prophet Muhammad‚Äôs respect for Christians.
‚ÄúThe blasphemy laws are bad laws [and] have destroyed Pakistan‚Äôs reputation in the international community,‚ÄĚ said Bishop Nazir Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, Kent, who is of Pakistani origin.