ASIA/PAKISTAN -Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - A year ago, on November 4, 2014, an episode generated a wave of horror in Pakistan, shocking the whole world: a Christian couple Shama and Shahzad Masih were thrown in a brick kiln by a crowd of Muslims and burned alive on suspicion of blasphemy. In Pakistan, the anniversary of the tragic incident was celebrated in several communities in Paunjab. Their memory is alive, and their children are being taken care of by the "Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation", NGO which promotes projects for the most marginalized groups in Pakistan.
The President of the Foundation, the Catholic Michelle Chaudhry, told Fides: "Shama and Shahzad are in our hearts; two innocent lives lost due to extreme bigotry in our society. The fanatics not only burned two precious lives in the furnace; they burned humanity, they burned the principles of Islam, and burned Jinnah's Pakistan and no monetary compensation can make up for such an extreme act of violence".
The Foundation is committed to building a just and fair society: "For this reason - she continued - we recall the judgment of 19 June 2014 when the Supreme Court expressly asked the government to promote religious and social tolerance and to protect religious minorities".
The Foundation calls for justice for Shama and Shehzad, expressing the hope that the perpetrators of the murder are brought to justice and that "the safety of every Pakistani regardless of faith, gender, language, ethnicity is guaranteed, as enshrined in the Constitution".
The Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation has taken on the responsibility to ensure education to the three children of the couple killed: "We wanted to bring a change for the better in the lives of these children. Today it gives us great pleasure to see these children happy, safe and engaged in school activities. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 05/11/2015)