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Pakistan: Two Christian brothers sentenced to death for blasphemy in Punjab

There are about 500 Orthodox Christians in Pakistan. “The Orthodox Mission in Pakistan (OMP) was officially established in 2005, under the omophorion of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia. Currently, Fr. John Tanveer is one of the few Orthodox priests in all of Pakistan serving the faithful all over the country.”

Like all the Christians in Pakistan, who number about 2.5 million, or 1.6% of the population, the Orthodox Christians of that nation face regular discrimination, not infrequent harassment, and sometimes outright persecution, often by means of exploitation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. The blasphemy laws are often used against Christians and other religious minorities in order to evade debts or seize the property of the victimized people. The Order calls upon the government of Pakistan to reaffirm its respect for human rights by repealing these laws and granting Christians full religious freedom.

“Two Christian brothers sentenced to death for blasphemy in Punjab,” Asia News, December 14, 2018:

Lahore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Two Christian brothers have been sentenced to death in Pakistan on blasphemy charges, the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) announced today.

Qaisar and Amoon Ayub, from Lahore, were arrested in 2015 after one of the two was accused of posting offensive material against Islam on their website.

Qaisar and his wife Amina have three children, whilst Amoon is married to Huma, a teacher at Lahore Cathedral School.

The allegations surfaced in 2011 when they were accused of posting disrespectful material on their website; however, the accused say that their website was not active since 2009.

The two brothers have been held in Jhelum District Jail since their arrest. Additional Session judge Javed Iqbal Bosal informed them of the sentence directly in the prison for security reasons….

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