Tribulation: Catholics in Libya, Pakistan, and Japan News Report: March 21, 2011
by Rosalia Tenorio | Source:

'Violence Only Brings Violence,' Pope Prays for Peace in Libya and North Africa

ROME—‘Before praying the Angelus on Sunday, the Holy Father addressed the war in Libya. He urged civil and military leaders to safeguard civilians and to allow humanitarian aid in the country.

Pope Benedict prayed for peace in the region, stressing that ‘violence only brings violence.’

The Pope added, “I address a pressing appeal to those who have political and military responsibilities to ensure the safety and security of defenseless citizens as well as guarantee those offering emergency assistance have access to those in need.”

U.S., British and French military began a series of strikes against Libya’s air defenses this past weekend as part of a U.N. approved effort to protect pro-democracy Libyans from dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s mercenary army,” Bishop Giovanni Martinelli of Tripoli, Libya, criticized the decision to use military action against Gadhafi instead of negotiating a resolution.

Pakistani Catholic Charged with Blasphemy Murdered in Prison

LAHORE–Catholic News Service reported that a Catholic businessman condemned to life imprisonment for blasphemy in Pakistan was tortured and murdered and did not die of a heart attack as stated in a medical report.

The Pakistani Catholic Bishops’ commission for justice and peace issued a document stating that “Qamar David might have fallen prey to an active hate campaign going on in the country on this issue by extremist groups.” David, 55, died in “mysterious circumstances” in a jail in Karachi.

Auxiliary Bishop Sebastian Shah of Lahore celebrated David’s funeral March 17 at St. Joseph Church in Lahore.

David was arrested in 2006 for allegedly possessing a phone used for sending derogatory messages insulting the prophet Mohammed. A Muslim also accused was acquitted for lack of evidence. In 2010, the Catholic man was given life imprisonment and fined $1,200.

Islamic blasphemy laws punish with life imprisonment and the death penalty those convicted of insulting the Quran or Mohammed.

Nuns Carry On Mission in Japan

Saitama—Despite the recent natural disasters, the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception are determined to continue their apostolic mission in Japan.

The religious sister serving in the Diocese of Saitama, 43 miles from Tokyo, has been helping immigrants with documentation necessary for them to go back to their countries of origin. They are also sheltering evacuees, as convents and the faithful are opening their doors to evacuees from the northern Diocese of Sendai, which was suffered greater devastation.

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