A Song For Bhatti

It's called Blood Cries Out. It’s the song which the British band Ooberfuse wanted to dedicate to the Pakistani minister Shahbaz Bhatti, assassinated a year ago because he wanted to change the law on blasphemy, used and abused to target religious minorities.

The song was written especially for the big event in memory of Bhatti to be held this afternoon in Trafalgar Square, London.

The band - composed of Cherrie, Hal and Paul who aim to combine traditional Western pop with Eastern sounds and electronics - explains that they were deeply touched when asked to participate in the event.

“It was a deep and solemn undertaking to musically capture the sense of anger caused by the shedding of innocent blood”, said Cherrie, the singer and band leader to Vatican Insider.

“We had to balance these feelings with the cry that comes from the heart, in response to those forces in the world which feed on violence”.

However, Cherrie is keen on stressing that the song wants to bring a message of “peace and reconciliation”. “We hope it will help to defuse the anger that fuels such atrocities”.

Ooberfuse do not make ‘Christian’ music - their album Still Love My Enemies was voted among the top twenty of 2011 by the British magazine Cross Rhythms - but they do not want to hide their faith. On the contrary.

They played in front of two million young people during the WYD in Madrid last August – “it was amazing to see so many people dancing and clapping to our music”, says Cherrie - and their Heart's Cry was the ‘young’ anthem of Pope Benedict XVI's trip to England in September 2011.

For Blood Cries Out, the Ooberfuse have prepared a video in bright colours which came out on March 2, the first anniversary of the death of the minister:  “There is nothing nice in a car riddled with 80 bullets and a seat covered with blood”, says Hal, but “we could not flinch from showing these terrible pictures”.

Shahbaz Bhatti’s granddaughter, Natasha, was the first to see the video from Canada where she lives: "It's important, I am honoured by your love”, she said.

Today's concert was organized by the British Pakistani Christians Association, which will bring together religious leaders and British political representatives and will be preceded by a procession that will pass in front of Pakistani Embassy in London and close to Downing Street, the residence of British prime minister.

"Bhatti - wrote the Osservatore Romano - the newly appointed minister, explained that he accepted the assignment for the benefit of the marginalized people of Pakistan, having devoted his life to the struggle for human equality, social justice, religious freedom. His message of hope was addressed to all people, and therefore also to women, who live a life of discrimination and despair”.

The video Blood Cries Out can be seen here, while the lyrics can be found here.

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