Father Ibrahim's Murder In Pakistan Calls For Justice

Grief at the Funeral Presided Over by Bishop of Faisalabad

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RENALA KHURAD, JULY 28, 2003 (Zenit.org).- More than 3,000 people attended the funeral Mass of Father George Ibrahim on July 18; the priest was murdered 13 days earlier.

The celebration of the Eucharist was presided over by Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, in the church of Renala Khurd, where the priest was killed. In his address, Bishop Coutts cautioned those present not to give in to the temptation to violence and vengeance.

The bishop also confirmed his tireless commitment to justice, a statement reads, sent to ZENIT by the Commission for Justice and Peace in Pakistan.

Father Ibrahim received threats in the past for his work in the local Catholic school, said Shahbaz Bhatti, head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance. The Alliance stated that the killing was «a brutal act of terrorism» against a Christian religious representative.

Attacks against Christian individuals and institutions have intensified in Pakistan since 2002, when the government began supporting the war led by the United States against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

A group of Christian and Muslim parliamentarians have vowed to bring the murder of Father George Ibrahim to the attention of the National Assembly of the state of Punjab.

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