Choose your language EoF

Today’s martyrs

Celebrating the courage and determination of a young martyr

On Friday, 15 March 2024, on the anniversary of his death, the diocesan phase of the cause of beatification of the young Akah Bashir closed.

He lost his life, on 15 March 2015, while trying to stop a suicide bomber who threatened to carry out a massacre in St John’s Church in the Youhanabad district of Lahore, Pakistan.

An act of courage and faith

Akash Bashir, a young Pakistani man in his twenties, was part of the group of young people providing security around St. John’s Church. There were an estimated two thousand people there. At one point Akash Bashir saw a person running towards him: it was a suicide bomber. Firmly, he tried to thwart the bomber in his intention to enter the church. ‘I will die, but I will not let you pass,’ were his last words when he embraced the bomber, who was wearing an explosive belt, and died with him in the explosion along with 20 other people. There were also several injured, however, most of the people who were in the church were saved precisely because of Akash’s courage and sacrifice.

The socio-religious context of Pakistan

Akash Bashir’s heroic gesture takes place in a complex social and religious context. Christians in Pakistan represent only 2% of a predominantly Muslim population. They are often subject to discrimination and persecution by religious extremist groups. However, Akash’s sacrifice has brought hope and inspiration to the local Christian community.

Beatification process and recognition of martyrdom

Akash’s sacrifice not only saved lives, but also inspired greater participation and commitment in the Church community.

With a solemn Mass of thanksgiving celebrated in the Lahore Cathedral, the diocesan phase of Akash Bashir’s cause of beatification was concluded. His sacrifice was recognised as an act of martyrdom, paving the way for his beatification.

The legacy of Akash Bashir

Akash came from a humble but pious family of five children, where his memory lives on. The young man attended the Don Bosco Technical and Youth Centre, founded by Salesian religious to welcome students often rejected by traditional schools, to receive technical education and vocational training. Akash’s story and choice of faith have become an inspiration and reflection for all.

His life is an exhortation to live one’s faith with courage and determination, even in the face of the greatest adversity. May his memory be blessed and may his example continue to enlighten the path of many.



You might also like