Pakistan Mission in United Nations inundated with calls to protect Christians

Christians in Pakistan

Since there is an every growing number of attacks on Christians in Pakistan, various Christian and Human Rights organizations in the US have been pressurising the Pakistan Mission in United Nations to take concrete steps to protect the targeted community.

The Mission, as per sources, is in the reception of over hundreds of such letters over the past one year.

Incidentally, the uptick in the attack against Christians have coincided with the worsening law and order situation in Pakistan, due to the crumbling economy and deteriorating political situation.

These letter of protests by the organizations point to the systematic persecution of Christians, resulting in unjust punishments citing blasphemy, forced marriages of young Christian girls to older Muslim men, forced conversions in various parts of Pakistan and usurping of land and belongings of Christians.

Recently, two Christian farmers were killed in two separate attacks In Pakistan.

On 06th February, Muhammad Waseem, a Muslim landowner in Punjab’s Khanewal district assaulted and killed Emmanuel Masih, Christian farm labourer after falsely accusing him of stealing oranges from his property.

Similarly, a Christian guava famer Allah Ditta was gunned down for resisting stealing of his precious fruits by three Muslim youth.
In both cases, the accused are still roaming free.Christian organizations have also highlighted the forceful marriage of a 15-year-old Christian girl, Sitara Arif, to a 60-year-old Muslim man, named Rana Tayyab. Sitara was kidnapped by the husband of her employer last December and a case was registered only after two months despite repeated attempts by her family members.

Last year, a Christian priest, William Siraj, was gunned down in Pakistan’s northwest, in a targeted attack against the priests of Church of Pakistan.
Similarly, Christian schools in Pakistan, run for poor Christian families, are also targeted in the name of providing security.

In one such incident, tens of Islamists ransacked one such school and went away with money meant for food and education of poor students in Sheikhpura city in Punjab province.

Pakistan, a Muslim majority country, has a long history of Christian persecution. The country’s blasphemy laws in particular have been used to target Christians and other religious minorities, leading to unjust imprisonment, torture and even death.

Every year, scores of such cases are registered which usually go unresolved. Many desist from complaining to the local law enforcement agencies as it will result in further isolation and targeted attacks.

Similarly, blasphemy laws are indiscriminately used to target Christians for either financial benefits or for petty issues.

The overall result of such targeted discrimination being the dwindling number of Christians in Pakistan.Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which were introduced in the 1980s, are notoriously vague and opened to interpretation.
The laws criminalize insults or acts deemed offensive to Islam or the Prophet Mohammed, and can carry severe punishments including death penalty.

In reality, these laws have been used to silence dissent and target religious minorities and force them into conversions, forcefully marry to Muslims and even to usurp their land and belongings.

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