Church Leaders Come Together to Pray for Christian Couple Burned to Death in Pakistan
Posted on the 12th Nov 2014 in the category News
Bishop Tony Robinson, a Bishop of the Society and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, lit candles and prayed in St Anne's Cathedral in Leeds for the couple and their unborn daughter who were burned to death in Pakistan last week.
The Bishops' prayer for peace and the repose of the souls of Sajjeed Mashah, 27, and his wife Shama Bibi, 24, followed Ecumenical Vespers, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the second Vatican Council's groundbreaking Ecumenical decree Unitatis Redintegratio.
The Bishops condemned the actions of the 1,200 strong mob in Pakistan who burned the couple amidst rumours they had burned verses of the Quran. They also appealed to the Pakistan Government to bring the perpetrators to justice and protect the rights of minorities.
Family member, Javeed Masseeh described how their legs had been broken so they could not run away and then the couple were held over the brick furnace until their clothes caught fire and then thrown down inside the furnace. Bibi, a mother of four, was four months pregnant.
Bishop Tony, Chair of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Pakistan Focus Group and who was in Pakistan in March, said: "The savage attack and murder of these two Christians and their unborn child is unacceptable in any civilised society.
Cardinal Nichols said: "This is a horrific and tragic event which sullies the reputation of a great nation. Surely all people of true religious spirit will, in response, turn to God in prayer, seeking forgiveness for the violence and destruction of life, pleading for peace in our troubled world.
In March this year Bishop Tony visited Pakistan where he met the country's president Mamnoon Hussain to discuss the persecution of minorities.