Sister Janet Fearns, communications coordinator of Missio writes about the extent of religious persecution in Pakistan. A link to the full article follows this excerpt:
‘I am sorry I could not speak to you then because we were just about to begin the funeral service for Irfan, an 11-year-old boy who was shot in the head passed away yesterday.”
That was the opening line of the email from Fr Mario Rodriguez, national director for the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan. Several hours later, Fr Mario was able to give a few more details as he spoke over the phone from Karachi. He also sent me three photographs of his parishioners.
In one photo, Fr Mario and a householder stand in a fire-blackened house. In another, in the midst of a group of men, one wears a sling, a slight bloodstain showing where the bullet entered his arm.
The third photo portrays a man holding up his right arm, its blistered blackness horrific. At present, the man’s injury is possibly not very painful: the serious nature of his burn probably destroyed the sensitive nerve endings in his skin. As his injury heals and the nerves regenerate, it will be agony.
Yet the message from Fr Mario’s parishioners is one of defiance. “We are prepared to die for our faith!”
Read the full article at http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/f0000458.shtml