FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN

The persecution of Christians is getting worse in different regions of Asia, Middle East and Africa. There are many millions Christians today who are afraid to go to church, or no longer have a church to go to; who have to choose between staying faithful to God or keeping their children safe; who have been brutalized, lost their dignity or their liberty because they share the same faith as many in our own country, but they do not share our freedom. There are many, many more today who are mourning over recently lost loved ones.

Pakistan is the world’s second-largest Muslim country, has risen and registers highly in the violence category of the World Watch List research. Amongst other incidents a Christian couple was thrown into a brick kiln, and a twin churches bomb attack in Lahore in March 2015 left 25 dead and wounded many more.

This overt violence can overshadow the everyday abuse of Christian girls – who are frequently abducted, raped, forced to marry and convert and the ongoing abuse of the Blasphemy laws.

The country’s 3.8 million Christians feel increasingly under threat in their daily lives. The persecution of religious minorities is in effect enabled rather than deterred by the government, and the alarming lack of condemnation of cases of persecution by government officials, combined with a weak judiciary and constabulary, has seen an increase in the number of those leaving the country to seek asylum abroad.

Ecumenical Commission for Human Development strongly belief that Christians around the world have stood beside their persecuted brothers and sisters, providing practical aid, speaking up on their behalf and demonstrating mercy, compassion and forgiveness, rather than hatred, exclusion and revenge.

James Rehmat

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