National Catholic Reporter

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Pakistan

Pakistani Catholic: Church to appeal death penalty for blasphemy charge

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Catholic leaders in Pakistan will appeal to their country's Supreme Court after a lower court upheld the death penalty for a blasphemy ruling against a Christian mother of five children.

"Like it or not, we have to accept the court order," Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, director of the National (Catholic) Commission for Justice and Peace, told Catholic News Service on Monday from his office in Lahore, Pakistan.

Four days earlier, the Lahore High Court upheld the death sentence handed to Asia Bibi in 2010.

In Pakistan, valentines are exchanged in secret

Outside the gates of the women-only Kinnaird College in this central Pakistani city, boys shyly approach, bearing roses and small tokens of affection.

The girls, clad in a spectrum of reds, happily accept, even as they peer around nervously to see who is watching.

"Feb. 14 is a very special day for me to celebrate love because it was on this day last year that I met my boyfriend," said Sania Ehsan, 21, holding a basket full of chocolates and heart-shaped cookies to exchange with her Valentine.

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