Shahbaz Bhatti had defied death threats since the assassination of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer in January. An advocate for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti was the only Christian to hold a government post on Pakistan’s cabinet and was vocal in both his support of repealing the blasphemy law and the release of Asia Noreen Bibi from prison. He was outspoken, bold and fearless in protecting their rights, but on March 2, in an ambush, assassins took his life. His brother, Paul Bhatti, MD, has recently been named “special adviser” to the Prime Minister of Pakistan for religious minorities and has essentially the same position and responsibilities that his murdered brother had.
Paul Bhatti, who has lived abroad, met with the Minister of Interior, Rehman Malik, and discussed various issues related to the assassination of Shahbaz as well as his desire to continue the work of his brother. Paul Bhatti has appealed to scholars and religious leaders from various schools of thought and faith to create a united front against terrorism. He has also decided to tour in the various provinces to verify the situation first hand and meet with leaders of various religious minorities.
Meanwhile Christian activists protest over shortcomings in the investigation into Bhatti’s assassination that reveals a lack of political will to arrest and punish those responsible. Paul Bhatti has also expressed his disappointment over the results from the inquiry into his brother’s murder and has called for the creation of a parliamentary commission of inquiry.
Heavenly Father, we pray that You will use Paul Bhatti to bring about peace and justice in this unstable country where Your people suffer persecution. Holy Spirit, supernaturally protect him as he travels and meets with religious leaders. Keep him close to You and bless him with Your wisdom and perseverance in the days ahead, bringing honor and glory to Your Holy Name. We pray also for Asia Noreen Bibi as she remains in prison awaiting appeal. Calm her fears, give her courage to remain faithful, and bring comfort to her family. Amen
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Additional Prayer Alerts
Christians living in predominately Muslim countries that are currently experiencing revolutions are asking; “Will there be more freedom or more persecution?” The answer is unknown. But one thing is certain, in the midst of the chaos doors have opened up to bring in God’s Word.
Political, ethnic and religious clashes are occurring in Nigeria preceding the upcoming presidential election. Christians ask for our prayers as the possibility of instability during and after the polls remains high.
Francisco Melendez, a devote Christian who loved spreading the gospel through songs of worship and praise, had his earthly voice silenced on April 13, 2009.