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Rome’s ancient Colosseum turned red to protest Pakistan blasphemy law

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 Rome’s ancient Colosseum was lit in red on Saturday in solidarity with persecuted Christians, particularly Asia Bibi, a woman condemned to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Hundreds gathered on a rainy night outside the Roman amphitheatre that is a symbol of the martyrdom of early Christians to hear the husband and daughter of Asia Bibi.

The Catholic woman has been living on death row in Pakistan since 2010, when she was condemned for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbors objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International say the blasphemy law is increasingly exploited by religious extremists as well as ordinary Pakistanis to settle personal scores.

“The aim of the blasphemy laws is crush people who believe differently,” Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, secretary-general of the Italian bishops conference, told the gathering.

The law does not define blasphemy and evidence might not be reproduced in court for fear of committing a fresh offense. There are no penalties for false accusations.

Asia Bibi’s case drew international attention after the murder of two politicians who tried to intervene on her behalf.

At the Rome gathering, her husband Ashiq Masih said his wife was innocent of blasphemy. “This is just hate against Christians, who are considered impure,” he said.

The husband and daughter, who broke down in tears as she addressed the group, were earlier received by Pope Francis, who told her: “I think often of your mother and I pray for her”.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who has been tipped as a possible Italian prime minister after next week’s election, said that persecution of Christians was “a genocide”.

“A message must be sent from this place. It is the duty of Europe to defend these values (of religious liberty) wherever on earth they are trampled on,” Tajani said.

Rebecca Bitrus, a Nigerian Christian woman who was held for two years after she was abducted by Boko Haram Islamist militants, told of how she was repeatedly beaten and raped.

During the event, organised by the Catholic group “Aid to the Church in Need,” there were live link-ups with Aleppo, Syria and Mosul, Iraq, both of whose minority Christian populations have been hit hard by wars.

Source:”Reuters”

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Motherland News

UN reports about 900 fatalities in DR Congo’s ethnic violence.

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The united nations report that at least 890 people were killed in over just 3 days in ethnic violence in western DRC in mid-december.

The UN Human Rights Office reports the violence took place in four villages between Banunu and Batende communities.



The UN however warns the death toll could be higher. But there seems to be conflicting death tolls for the violence.

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A local priest and a civil society activist earlier in the week said at least 400 people had died in bloodshed that even led to the government canceling voting in last month’s presidential polls.

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The UN insists that 890 is the number of people known to have been buried.

The recent attack from the ethnic clashes in Yumbi, Mai-Ndombe Province allegedly started when members of the Banunu tribe wanted to bury one of their traditional chiefs on Batende land.

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Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Seeks Rehabilitation.

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Daughter of the late pop singer, Micheal Jackson and 20-year-old superstar, Paris, is reportedly seeking support at a treatment facility to improve her well being.



PEOPLE’s magazine reports that she decided that she needed to take some time off to reboot, realign and prioritize her physical and emotional health. She checked herself into a treatment facility to aid in her wellness plan.

Paris had previously opened up about her battle with depression and says it stemmed from hanging out with a lot of older people doing a lot of crazy things.

She explained: “I was doing a lot of things that 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds shouldn’t do. I tried to grow up too fast, and I wasn’t really that nice of a person.

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”I was crazy. I was actually crazy. I was going through a lot of, like teen, angst. And I was also dealing with my depression and my anxiety without any help.”

Meanwhile, Paris previously took to Instagram to plead with her critics to give her a break. 

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“I guess this is for the people that don’t agree with who I am and don’t agree with my morals and spend their time trying to hurt me. I like to think that I’m on a pretty good track, as someone that is literally still a teenager … I get it, Y’all don’t like the tattoos, Y’all don’t like profanity.

”Y’all don’t like my free spirit, my outspokenness. I’m a young chick and I should be quiet, I get it. I am a teenager. I am doing the best I can, I’m working as hard as I possibly can to make a living for myself and create my own life. I’m fighting for human rights, I’m fighting for animal rights, I’m fighting for the environment. Basically, any liberalist movement that will create positive impact on this planet, I’m trying to get involved in.” Paris Said.

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