A Pakistani Christian doctor whose selfie with Pope Francis went viral is to train to be a priest.
Bashir, a 26-year-old medicin Karachi, told AFP that he took the selfie
with the pope during a youth conference at the Vatican last month.
He presented Francis with an ajrak shawl, a traditional garment from
Sindh province, and the two posed for the picture in which the pontiff
can be seen with the gift draped around his shoulders and grinning
'My heart is full of happiness,' Bashir wrote as a caption to the image on Facebook.
was very happy to see the ajrak... I also met him personally later and
gifted him a blanket,' Bashir told AFP. The pope then told him that he
'daily prays for peace in Pakistan', Bashir added.
that he and the pontiff also spoke of the treatment of religious
minorities in Pakistan, where Muslims make up more than 90 per cent of
Christians account for an estimated two per cent
of Pakistan's more than 200 million people, and have long faced
persecution there. Four Christians were shot dead in an attack claimed
by tIslamic State in the south-western city of Quetta on April 3, just
after Easter. And an ISIS suicide bombing at a church days before
Christmas last year killed eight.
consider myself safe in Karachi but it is painful to see the incidents
with Christians and minorities,' Bashir said. 'Minorities are oppressed
too much and with this reference my heart aches.'
encounter with the pope impressed him so much that instead of
specialising in neurosurgery, as he had planned, he now wants to serve
He said: 'I will present myself to become a priest and join a seminary in June.'