Pope Francis recently met with a Pakistani Christian Dr. Paul Bhatti leading the Shahbaz Bhatti Association- a Pakistani Christian organization founded after the name of Pakistani Christian leader Shahbaz Bhatti (late). This meeting was held in Vatican, when Pope Francis told Dr. Paul Bhatti is brother of Shahbaz Bhatti to reach Pakistani Christians facing discrimination.
In line with details, Pope Francis appreciated the efforts of Shahbaz Bhatti Association saying that: He continued by saying that, “one fruit of the sufferings endured by Christians is the growth of groups and associations – like your own – that build bridges of fraternity throughout the world, overcoming differences of language, culture and, at times, also of religion.”
During this meeting, Pope Francis said that this work is also promoting coexistence in Pakistan. The Pontiff encouraged the association, “to persevere in this evangelical witness”, which he said, “joins firmness to meekness, in order to assist victims of false accusations and to find concrete ways to combat poverty and modern forms of slavery.”
While discussing the situation of Christians in Pakistan, Pope Francis told Dr. Bhatti that he hopes, “that supported by the prayers and effective solidarity of many others, you can extend your activity to those areas of Pakistan where Christians and other minorities are mostly present and, sadly, also discriminated against and made a target of acts of injustice and violence.”
Referring to the efficacious efforts by Shahbaz Bhatti Pope Francis said: “may your distinguishing feature always be that which shines forth in the witness given by Shahbaz Bhatti and so many other martyrs of our time, namely, a humble and courageous faith in the Lord Jesus and the capacity to bring love in place of hatred.”
Shahbaz Bhatti Association actively provides legal assistance to the marginalized Christians in Pakistan. The association also, provides scholarships and vocational education to Christians. It was founded based upon the vision of Shahbaz Bhatti – a Pakistani Christian political leader who was assassinated for advocating for the rights of minorities. He was sitting Federal Minister for Minorities’ Affairs at the time of his assassination.