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Pakistan: ‘The persecution of Christians is not merely the result of individual actions, but is in fact institutionalized’

Persecution of Christians in Pakistan: The ongoing denial of religious freedom to Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan is, as is noted in this article, institutionalized and frequently abetted by Pakistani officials who should be protecting Christians and all citizens. This is an issue of immense importance that continues to receive scant attention from the UN or international human rights organizations. Please pray that the Christian community in Pakistan will be able to endure this martyrdom and experience a resurrection, and that relief will come to this courageous and long-suffering Christian community.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“Human Rights Day 2020: religious persecution continues to blight the lives of hundreds of millions,” EU Today, December 10, 2020:

Human Rights Day is internationally observed each year on December 10th — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

As we all know, these rights are not, in reality, enjoyed by all. Indeed, persecution on grounds of religion in particular is a phenomena that is growing. What may surprise many is that the most vulnerable religious group in the world today are Christians.

According to the Frankfurt-based International Society for Human Rights, while only 30 percent of the world’s population identifies as Christian, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination are directed at that group. According to Open Doors, a US-based Christian group, to some 260 million Christians worldwide are vulnerable.

Christian Victims Pakistan

But it is not only Christians who are facing intolerable victimisation and, in many cases, violence.

The persecution of Christians, Sikhs and Hindus in Pakistan, for example, is not merely the result of individual actions, but is in fact institutionalised.

Pakistan’s 4,015,000 Christians find the country’s highly controversial blasphemy laws disproportionally applied against them.

As a so-called non-believer, a Christian is by definition a blasphemer. This is an example of structural persecution by the state.

The laws, which can carry a mandatory death penalty in some cases, are often used to settle personal grievances. For example, any person who finds themselves accused by another of offending their religious beliefs by any word by any sound or gesture, or any object placed in their sight, can find themselves in front of a Sharia court.

Often, a case may not even get as far as the courtroom: since 1990, 62 people have been murdered following blasphemy allegations. There is no penalty under Pakistani law for making a false allegation.

As of September of this year, there were at least 80 people in prison in Pakistan accused of blasphemy, with half facing life sentences or the death penalty, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom reported.

In 2014 Pakistan’s The Nation newspaper reported that 68% of Pakistanis believed the blasphemy law should be repealed: however, Prime Minister Imran Khan has maintained his support for the laws….

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