Her Excellency Dr. Maleeha Lodhi
Ambassador of Pakistan
2315 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Dear Madame Ambassador,
I write to communicate my deep concern over the reported death sentences handed down in the case of Mr. Rehmet Masih and Mr. Salamat Masih, accused of violating your nation's blasphemy laws.
I do not treat lightly the matter of blasphemy; it is an offense to believers everywhere. But surely this sentence of death for what appears to the rest of the world to have been a foolish chalking of unspecified words on a mosque wall is not only grossly disproportionate to the deed, but is itself a grave offense to the Creator God we both acknowledge and worship.
It is my prayerful hope that mercy, not vengeance, will prevail in this sad case. I would be grateful if you would communicate these concerns to your Government.
Most Reverend Daniel P. Reilly
Bishop of Worcester
Chairman, U.S. Catholic Conference
Committee on International Policy