The Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi said it will begin collecting evidence to open the process to declare as a martyr, Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani Catholic minister for minorities who was assassinated on March 2, 2011, VaticanRadio reported.
Bhatti — a leading voice for religious freedom and peace in Pakistan — was shot dead by three masked men as left his mother's home in Islamabad.
In a video he recorded to be released in case of his death, Bhatti said: "I want to share that I believe in Jesus Christ, who has given his own life for us. I know what is the meaning of 'cross,' and I follow him to the cross."
"Pray for me and for my life," reported the Vatican news agency Fides.
Bhatti told the Vatican news agency Fides ahead of his murder: "Pray for me and for my life."
"I am a man who has burnt his bridges. I cannot and will not go back on this commitment. I will fight fanaticism and fight in defense of Christians to the death."
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.