Persecution Updates: Asia Bibi and a story about Mexico

A Pakistani Catholic woman accused of blasphemy was supposed to have her final appeal before the nation’s Supreme Court today. The hearing was postponed indefinitely. Here’s the story I wrote for World online this morning:

Pakistani Christian’s death penalty appeal postponed

Asia Bibi’s final hearing against accusations of blasphemy was scheduled for today in Pakistan, but the court unexpectedly adjourned the case until further notice when one of the three judges recused himself.

Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman forced the adjournment when he declined to hear the case. Tension surrounding the trial ran high and 3,000 security forces were deployed across Islamabad in preparation for the Supreme Court hearing.

Continue reading the latest at World

Mexican priests, missionaries not spared from drug violence

In drug cartel-controlled regions of predominantly Catholic Mexico, even clergy are not immune to the dangers of gang violence.

Several recent kidnappings of priests and Catholic missionaries have provoked questions about whether gangs are specifically targeting the Church. Organized crime and drug-related violence is common in both Michoacan and Veracruz states, where the men were murdered.

In the latest incident, four members of a missionary group called “Arcoiris,” or Rainbow, disappeared Oct. 1. Willibaldo Hernandez, Adan Valencia, Jesus Lopez Urbina, and Jesus Ayala’s tortured bodies were found along the side of a road several days later.

Read the whole the story at World.


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