An interesting piece in Libération on Christians in Pakistan
Following Iain Dale's comment a few days back about how disappointing he finds international news coverage in the UK press, and a comment maker noting that we tend to blog about whatever is in the UK MSM, I'm trying to cast my net a bit wider and look at news websites from further afield. Anyway, a mooch around Libération
(the French equivalent of the Guardian) turned up an item on the lamentable status of Christians in Pakistan.
Here are some extracts, roughly translated:
"A few years ago, a Muslim girl fell in love with one of the pastor’s brothers. "My brother had the whole neighbourhood on his back, people said: "If you marry a Muslim woman we will have you hide", remembers Imran. Here, one does not mix, and my brother did not want to convert. Finally, the girl threw herself under a train."
"...the 1956 Constitution made Pakistan
an Islamic Republic. While religious freedom is supposed to be guaranteed, Islam is at the base of the legislation, and all citizens are supposed to live according to its rules. At the end of the Seventies, the county fell under the sway of a radical Islam imposed by dictator Zia ul-Haq, and the minorities, whose members are regarded as second-class citizens, suffered. The law on blasphemy criminalises "those who, by word or writing, gestures or representations, with direct or indirect insinuations, insult the blessed name of the Prophet".
Those accused risk life in prison, even hanging. Nearly 700 people, of which 10 % were Christians have been imprisoned under this law since 1988”.
It is perhaps worth noting that the white in the Pakistan flag is supposed to represent the country's religious minorities, and it is rather sad that the Churches elsewhere are happy to engage in so much navel gazing rather than concerning themselves a little more with the persecution of Christians in parts of the world where they are a minority.
Labels: South Asia