Killing of Pakistani minister must spur action: Pope

Pope Benedict XVI lamented the murder of Pakistan`s sole Christian minister.

Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 22:51 PM IST

Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI is praying that the assassination of Pakistan`s sole Christian minister last week will spur efforts to safeguard religious freedom for all people.

Benedict had met at the Vatican last year with Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan`s minority affairs minister. Bhatti, a Catholic, was battling to stop abuses under Pakistan`s blasphemy laws.

The pope had appealed for the release of a Christian woman in Pakistan facing the death penalty for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Bhatti was shot dead on Wednesday. Benedict told the public in St. Peter`s Square Sunday he hopes that Bhatti`s "moving sacrifice" will wake up consciences to find the courage to work for religious freedom and equal dignity for all in Pakistan.