The Community of Sant’Egidio expresses its sorrow and dismay for the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Religious Minorities Minister of Pakistan.
Bhatti was spiritually linked to Sant’Egidio and he visited the Community headquarter in Trastevere (Rome, Italy) a number of times. He shared the difficoult and patient work of the Community to create dialogue and linkages among Christians and Muslims in his country. The last person he had a conversation with through the phone, just 15 minutes before the tragic murder, is a member of the Community of Sant’Egidio of Rome spending a few days in Islamabad to meet the local Communities.
“The death of Bhatti is a terrible loss for Pakistan, for the dialogue process and for us all”, a moved President of the Community Marco Impagliazzo declared. “He was a humble and brave man, he dedicated his political activity to the greater perspective of a peaceful living together among all the religions in his country, and he has been urging to modify the blasphemy law, despite the death threats he received. He is a man who has been fighting bare-handed to build a society of the living together. I also remember his efforts to support Asia Bibi to get the grace.”
“Even if the sorrow and sadness for Pakistani Christians are prevailing, Impagliazzo concluded, we believe and we hope his sacrifice and his example could lead Pakistan towards a better future and a new season of collaboration and understanding among all the believers. The Community of Sant’Egidio, which is present in ten Pakistani cities keeps working for peace with even stronger commitment.”
The President Marco Impagliazzo with the Minister Shahbaz Bhatti
during a visit to the Community of Sant'Egidio, October 1, 2009