The Diocese of Faisalabad has decided to mark the first anniversary of the death of its bishop John Joseph without protest, according to UCA News.
    Bishop Joseph shot himself in front of a court building after a Christian, Ayub Masih, was tried and condemned to death for blaspheming Prophet Mohammad in a case allegedly invented to settle a land issue.
    "We have agreed to discourage protest rallies, processions and other provocative forms of protest," said Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, who was transferred from Hyderabad diocese after Bishop Joseph's death.
    "The stress will be on prayerfulness, solemnity, awareness and harmony with the majority community, many of whom held Bishop John (Joseph) in high regard," Bishop Coutts added.
    Instead the diocese will mark the occasion with a mass and a seminar on the rights of religious minorities to which Muslim speakers will be invited.
    Bishop Joseph's death, while eliciting mixed reactions among Asian Catholics, drew attention to injustices committed against Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan.

9:38am 15/4/99 / UCAN


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