How much do you love pakistan

On the situation of Christians in Pakistan

Pakistan has around 162 million inhabitants, 96.1% of whom are Muslims. Christians make up only 1.5% of the total population. Their biggest problem is the power of the Islamic clergy and Islamic groups who want to turn Pakistan into a purely Islamic state and want to introduce all Islamic laws in accordance with Sharia law (e.g. stoning for adultery, severing hands for theft and the death penalty for "apostasy from Islam." "and blasphemy). The pressure that these groups also exert on the government has so far prevented the amendment or abolition of the blasphemy law and the equality of Muslims and non-Muslims.

The rules on blasphemy in the Pakistani Criminal Code state:

Section 295 (a) Whoever demeans another's religious beliefs; is punished with up to 10 years imprisonment.
Section 295 (b) Anyone who "deliberately vilifies, damages or desecrates an edition of the Koran" will be sentenced to life imprisonment
Section 295 (c) "Anyone who desecrates the holy name of the holy prophet (peace be upon him) directly or indirectly with spoken or written words, by graphic representations or by any other conceivable accusation, suggestion or insinuation, faces death, life imprisonment or a fine fined." In an April 2009 ruling by the Supreme Sharia Court in Pakistan, "life imprisonment" was canceled and the death penalty was made compulsory for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

In particular, Section 295 (c), inserted in 1986, is used arbitrarily by authorities and informers to threaten, punish or intimidate Christians and other minorities. This means that a person only needs a witness to confirm that the name of Muhammad was defiled. Once accused of blasphemy, you can no longer be sure of your life. Radical fanatical Muslims do not wait for court proceedings or accept acquittals; they take the punishment into their own hands and murder the accused. Even their lawyers are now being threatened with death. On May 7, 2014, for example, the human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman Khan was shot in the head in his office for defending a Christian accused of blasphemy. The police did not respond to his request for police protection.
The lawyer Chaudhary Aneel Ashiq Mutto from Lahore has also been threatened. He has received police protection since his house was ransacked in his absence on July 16, 2015 and his family locked in a room at gunpoint.
Under these conditions, many appeals processes are dragged on because there are hardly any judges who would like to take the risk of an actually justified acquittal.
According to Joseph Francis, the coordinator of the human rights organization CLAAS (Lahore), at the beginning of November 2011 there were 94 prisoners in 13 prisons in Punjab alone because of alleged blasphemy. Several attacks have already been carried out on him, one of which he was seriously injured.

current cases

In the parliamentary elections on May 11, 2013, there was a constitutional democratic change for the first time after a full legislative period. It won the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) under Nawaz Sharif, who was elected Prime Minister by parliament on June 5, 2013 for the third time after 1990 and 1999.
On July 30, 2013, PML-N politician Mamnoon Hussain was elected as the new Pakistani head of state and sworn in on September 9, 2013.
From 2008 to 2013, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ruled under Asif Ali Zardari.

During this time, the military clashes between the Pakistani military and the Pakistani Taliban have intensified. After they seized power in the Swat Valley, the Taliban were expelled from this valley in 2009 and also from South Waziristan (FATA), which they had controlled for many years. Kidnappings, murders and the demolition of schools had been the order of the day under the Taliban. Around 2.5 million people had fled the fighting at that time. 20% of them had to live in camps in tents far from their home.

In 2013 there were military clashes in the Tirah Valley not far from Peshawar, where the Taliban initially took control before being driven out by the military at the end of June. Since the beginning of 2014, the Pakistani army, mainly in North Waziristan, has carried out a series of targeted air strikes against objects apparently used by extremists.

Taliban fighters have been carrying out terrorist attacks in large cities such as Karachi and Lahore for years. In addition to military and police institutions, the targets are also especially the Christians. Under threat of the death penalty, the Taliban want to persuade the Christian population to convert to Islam. Churches were burned down, Taliban fighters broke into Christian homes, set fires, burned Bibles and beat women.

In the summer of 2015 there were 52 competing Taliban groups. Its members live like ordinary citizens among the population, some work in the police, in the army, in authorities and other social groups. In addition, IS cells have also formed in Pakistan that are fueling hostility against religious minorities.

In 2008, Asif Ali Zardari succeeded General Pervez Musharraf, who had seized power in a coup on October 12, 1999 because the former head of government Nawaz Sharif wanted to depose him. After he came to power, the general promised full rights and protection to religious minorities in his government statement of October 17, 1999. In the following months he announced the abolition of the separate voting rights for Muslims and non-Muslims and amendments to the blasphemy law. On January 28, 2000 he appointed the Christian Derick Cyprian as Minister for Sport, Culture and Religious Minorities.

In mid-May 2000, however, there was a sudden U-turn:

In the summer of 2000, a constitutional amendment to Article 2 defined Islam as the only highest religion in the country to which all other religions are subject in accordance with Islamic laws and the Koran. In a newly added constitutional article §260 (3a), citizens were divided into the groups of Muslims and non-Muslims.

Unfortunately, these are not the only downsides for Christians in Pakistan. As a result, advancement to well-paid and managerial positions is practically impossible if one does not convert to Islam. And through the nationalization of Christian schools, high school fees and a very restrictive admission policy for studying at universities, access to higher education for Christians is increasingly restricted.

Time and again, Christians are threatened by radically fanatical Muslims who want to force them to convert to Islam. For example, the following appeal was wrapped around a stone and thrown into the homes of Christians:

... Until today you have spoken against Islam and the Holy Prophet, but Islamtaught us to forgive our enemies. That is why we are ready to forgive you. If you want to go on living and love your life, then accept Islam and the gates of paradise will be open to you. ... But if you refuse to accept Islam and tryto flee again, you put yourself and your family in danger. This is the last opportunity to accept Islam and go to paradise. So think about it again and try not to run away. Remember, we're keeping an eye on you.

The Pakistani Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha has therefore demanded more protection for Christians from the government in Islamabad.

In May 2007 a so-called "apostasy law" passed the parliament at first reading, which provides for the death penalty for men and life imprisonment for women.
This is a massive violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Many young Christian women who work as domestic servants for wealthy Muslims in Pakistan are pressured by their employers to convert to Islam. In the event of an objection, it should have happened in several cases that wages were withheld, a girl was accused of theft and, in the worst case, even raped. Only a few victims dare to sue their tormentors, which is also due to the fact that in several cases it is not the rapist but the woman who was thrown into prison for "fornication". If a Christian girl gives in to the pressure to convert to Islam, the Christian parents lose all rights to their child; they can no longer represent them.

Another problem is the abduction and forced marriage of underage Christian girls who are simply alleged to have converted to Islam. According to Pakistani law, marriage is only allowed from the age of 16, but according to Sharia, children in puberty can also be "married". Legal scholars even set the limit at 9 years. Christian parents who fight for their kidnapped daughters are threatened (e.g. with the murder of the other children) or silenced with money. If there are court hearings, then only Muslim girls will be heard - if at all - a Christian woman will be denied this right. The court then often orders a medical examination, during which the desired age of majority is "determined", although birth certificates may even be available as evidence of the minority.

current cases

A return to Christianity is threatened with severe penalties as an apostasy from Islam, even if the conversion to Islam was enforced by force.

Overall, all Pakistani women have few rights. Every year over 100 women are killed because they got in the way of someone, mostly the husband. Taking advantage of women's lesser rights in court, the wife is accused of adultery and killed to restore the family's allegedly injured honor. A doctor told of a woman suffering from TB, who was accused of adultery and killed by her husband in order to free herself from the looming burden of a nursing case. He went unpunished due to the weight of his testimony.

In addition to praying for the Christians in Pakistan and receiving regular information about their situation, anyone can write to the government or embassy of Pakistan in personal letters

  • against violence against Christians,
  • against the disadvantage of Christians,
  • against the lack of protection for girls and women against kidnapping, abuse, exploitation, forced marriage and forced conversion,
  • against the application of the blasphemy law and
  • protest against the introduction of Islamic law and
  • the abolition of the blasphemy law as well
  • - calling for the release of all Christians convicted of blasphemy.
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His Excellency    
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President Secretariat S block Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights
Aiwan-e-Sadar Pakistan Secretariat S Block, Pakistan Secretariat
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