By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest
BUDAPEST/WARSAW (BosNewsLife)– A parliamentary commission has urged Poland’s parliament to support a resolution in defense of persecuted Christians, following the killing of a Polish missionary priest and a Christian minister in Pakistan.
The motion by the Polish Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission came shortly after Wednesday’s funeral in Warsaw of missionary priest Marek Rybinski, who was murdered in Tunisia’s capital Tunis last month, BosNewsLife monitored Saturday, March 5.
On Monday, February 28, a funeral mass in Tunis was attended by Polish expats, foreign ambassadors and Muslim representatives.
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Rybinski, 34, was reportedly found with his throat cut near the Roman Catholic Selesian mission school in Manouba, a suburb of Tunisia’s capital Tunis.
Last week, Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said police detained a murder suspect “who worked at the same school as the priest.” The alleged killer was publicly identified as 43-year-old maintenance worker Chokri Ben Mustapha Bel-Sadek El-Mestiri. It was not clear whether he pleaded guilty or denied the charges.
Tunisian officials said the motive of the murder appeared theft and was not a sign of increased religious tension following the recent ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The Tunisian government initially blamed “fascist terrorists” and religious extremism for the attack after the school received a perceived anti-semitic letter demanding money and death threats.
Yet, Poland’s Leftist legislator Tadeusz Iwinski expressed condern at a meeting of the parliamentary commission about the murder of Rybinski and this week’s assassination of Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the cabinet.
Bhatti was shot and killed in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad after publicly challenging controversial blasphemy laws under which a Christian mother of four was sentenced to death and other Christians detained.
In a draft motion to be discussed by parliament, the Polish Foreign Affairs Commission said predominantly Catholic Poland has the moral obligation to condemn these and other “frequent acts of intolerance towards and persecution of Christians” as Poland has a “centuries-long tradition of religious tolerance.”
The document said the Polish Parliament should support recent resolutions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and of the European Parliament which condemned all manifestations of intolerance, discrimination and violence against Christians.
Earlier foreign ministers of Hungary, which holds the European Union presidency, Poland, Italy and France urged the EU to help prevent more attacks against Christians.
In a January letter they asked the bloc’s Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, to take up the issue of anti-Christian violence as part of her policy priorities. (With reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos in Budapest).