Six years ago March 2, Clement Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down outside his mother’s home in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan.
Bhatti, was the first Christian appointed to governmental cabinet position in Pakistan and served in that position for three years before being killed for no other reason than his Christian beliefs.
At the University of Punjab, Bhatti helped found the Christian Liberation Front, an organization that fights for the liberties of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan.
Throughout his whole adult life, he continued to fight for religious and human rights of minorities in his country. His lifelong dedication to his beliefs got him appointed to the Minister of Minority Affairs, but his beliefs were not popular in his country or with many in the government. He was constantly receiving death threats.
But Bhatti relied on his faith in Christ to make him strong and fearless in his speech and actions.
Other quotes from Clement Shahbaz Bhatti courtesy of azquotes.com:
- “In the past I faced assassination attempts. I faced harassment, intimidation and prison due to my bold stand on this issue. But these difficult challenges strengthened my faith; strengthened my belief; and strengthened my commitment and devotion to this cause.”
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
- “I think religious freedom is part of the U.S.’s policy and Congress mandated the creation of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. So it is important that the U.S. focus in dialogue, development projects, cooperation with Pakistan and other countries to give more importance to religious freedom issues.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”
- “There’s no definition of blasphemy in this law. Then this only protects the one religion, whether we agree or not. I as a Christian believe we don’t need any law to protect Jesus Christ because the law cannot protect the respect of Jesus Christ. The heart and mind are the ones that can protect and give respect to Christ.”
We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.
Because Bhatti refused to back down when Muslim extremists warned him to stop criticizing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, he was killed.
This week, let us remember to be as bold in our faith and witness as Clement Shahbaz Bhatti. Let us remember to prepare our hearts and minds with God’s word and prayer so that we can be as strong and fearless as Bhatti.
And please, keep our fellow Christians in Pakistan in your prayers. They are suffering so much.
Until next time, may God keep you and bless you with great faith, strength and courage.