Posts Tagged ‘blasphemy’
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Monday, March 3rd, 2014
On March 2nd, Christians in Pakistan marked the third anniversary of the slaying of Shahbaz Bhatti. Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Religious Minorities, was assassinated shortly after speaking out against Pakistan's abusive blasphemy laws and defending Christian mother, Asia Bibi. Bhatti, a Christian himself, believed that Pakistan's blasphemy laws were abusive and unequally used against Christians. Please remember Bhatti and Christians in Pakistan today.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Pakistan continues to be criticized by the international community for its abusive and controversial blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, defiling a Quran, defaming the Prophet Mohammed or hurting religious feelings can warrant life imprisonment and even execution. Unfortunately, these laws are used to persecute religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians. Today, even openly standing for reform to the blasphemy laws is enough to invite violence. Will Pakistan ever be able to reform?
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
In March 2011, the then minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated by Islamic radicals because of his open criticism of Pakistan's controversial and abusive blasphemy laws. Bhatti specifically highlighted how the blasphemy laws were disproportionately abused to persecute Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. He also spoke boldly in the blasphemy case against a Christian woman, Asia Bibi. Now, the Bhatti's killers may go free due to death threats and intimidation.
Monday, February 17th, 2014
Due to death threats and peace talks between the Pakistani Taliban and the government, the killers of Christian cabinet minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, could be released from prison without facing justice. In 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down due to his criticism of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Calling for reform to the laws, Shahbaz was among the only government official brave enough to speak out publicly about the laws and how they were abused against religious minorities, especially Christians. Will Shahbaz and his family ever receive justice?
Sunday, February 16th, 2014
Pakistan remains among the most hostile nations for religious minorities. Christians, who make up only 2% of Pakistan's population, face persecution and hostility from many angles. False blasphemy accusations, church bombings, kidnappings and general communal violence are just a few of the issues faced by Christians in Pakistan. Please, remember Christians living in Pakistan in your prayers today.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Pakistan's abusive and controversial blasphemy laws continues to at the root of many instances of Christian persecution in Pakistan. Often used to settle personal scores or for economic gain, the blasphemy laws are often wielded as a weapon of choice when it comes to abusing religious minorities in Pakistan. Many of the critics of the blasphemy laws have come under threat from extremist groups and two of the country's most vocal critics were murdered for calling for reform to the blasphemy laws. Will things ever change? Will Pakistan ever be able to put the issue of blasphemy in the past?
Monday, February 10th, 2014
Pakistan continues to be among the most difficult and hostile countries for religious minorities. Faced with social violence, extremists groups, discrimination and blasphemy laws, the Christian population of Pakistan, which only makes up around 2% of the country, must struggle to survive. Despite this overwhelming amount of persecution, Christians and other minority religions in Pakistan are stepping up to protect themselves and resist the persecution they face daily.
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
The elder brother of assassinated Christian government minister Shahbaz Bhatti has fled Pakistan following death treats issued by Islamic militants. In 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti, the then Minister of National Harmony and Minority Affairs, was assassinated after he openly criticized Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. When he began calling for reform to the country's stance on the issue of blasphemy, Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated by Islamic extremists. Following his murder, many have feared speaking out against Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
A Pakistani court has canceled the bails of 36 men accused of participating in an attack on a Christian neighborhood last March. The attack followed a blasphemy accusation being leveled against a Christian man from that neighborhood. Blasphemy accusations continue to be among the major causes of Christian persecution in Pakistan. Please pray that justice is done in this case.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws continue to be at the root of many incidents of Christians persecution in the South Asian nation. Frequently abused by Pakistan's Sunni Muslim majority, religious minorities, including Christians, understand that even the slightest altercation can lead to a trumped up blasphemy charge being leveled against them. These allegations, whether false or not, often are a prelude to broader communal violence focused against religious minorities. In March 2013, a blasphemy accusation against a Christians in Lahore led to the destruction of an entire Christian neighborhood called Joseph Colony.
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
The Lahore High Court has revoked the bail of 36 suspected radicals charged in connection with the attack on the Christian neighborhood, Joseph Colony, in March 2013. According to reports, these radicals burned down over 180 Christian homes, shops and properties following the claim that a Christian man from Joseph Colony has committed blasphemy. Blasphemy accusations continue to be a prelude to larger communal violence and are at times used as an excuse to attack Christian neighborhoods. Please pray that justice is done in this case.
Friday, January 31st, 2014
Since their enactment in the 1980's, Pakistan's blasphemy laws have been frequently abused to settle scores, material gain and to persecute religious minorities. Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan are disproportionately accused and convicted under the controversial laws. The Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom has called on the U.K. government to pressure Pakistan into reforming its blasphemy laws. Will change happen?
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
Pakistan's abusive blasphemy laws continues to be among the preferred weapons used by extremists to persecute religious minorities, including Christians, in Pakistan. Members of religious minorities are often falsely accused of blasphemy to settle personal scores or for material gain. Pakistan is currently deciding whether to make the death penalty to exclusive punishment of blasphemy. Many religious minorities fear this change because the law is already so widely abused.
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
A recent order by Pakistan's Federal Sharia Court (FSC) has many Pakistani Christians concerned that life is about to get much harder in an already tough country. On December 4th, the FSC ordered the Pakistani government to remove life imprisonment from the list potential punishments for those convicted of blasphemy. This would effectively leave the death penalty as the exclusive punishment for blasphemy. Christians and other religious minorities fear this change because Pakistan's blasphemy laws are already frequently abused to persecute minority communities. The change to the laws would only make an already deadly law even deadlier.
Sunday, January 26th, 2014
The Methodist Church in Britain has expressed grave concern over a recent ordered handed down by Pakistan's Federal Sharia Court (FSC). On December 4th, the FSC ordered the Pakistani government to take action to remove life imprisonment from the list of punishments applicable to those found guilty of blasphemy. This order would effectively leave the death penalty as the exclusive punishment in cases of blasphemy. Many Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan fear this potential development because the blasphemy laws are already widely abused against religious minorities. The government has until February 4th to implement the FSC's order. Please pray for the safety and well being of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan.
Saturday, January 25th, 2014
In early December, the Federal Sharia Court of Pakistan ordered the government of Pakistan to remove the punishment of life imprisonment from the country's controversial blasphemy laws, leaving death as the exclusive punishment. Pakistan's government has until February 4th to implement this order. Christians and other religious minorities fear this change to the country's blasphemy laws. The laws are often abused and targeted at religious minorities. Please pray for the Christians of Pakistan as they face this tough time.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
Pakistan continues to be ranked among the most religiously hostile nations in the world. Christians living in Pakistan, who only make up a small percentage of the Muslims majority population, face extreme forms of persecution on a daily basis. Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws continue to be wielded as a tool by extremists seeking to abuse/punish Christians. False accusations against Christians in not uncommon. Many Christians are beginning to wonder if there is a better life for them outside of Pakistan. Some of these Christians have already decided to flee to other South Asian countries. Is this the beginning of the Pakistani Christian exodus?
Thursday, January 9th, 2014
In early December, a Member of the British Parliament brought up the case of blasphemy victim Asia Bibi and the abuse of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws in a broader debate over the persecution of Christians worldwide. This Christmas marked the fifth holiday season Asia Bibi has spent on death row after being falsely accused and convicted of blasphemy in June 2009. This British MP called on Pakistan to immediately release Asia Bibi and to start making reforms to the blasphemy laws so that they cannot be so readily abused by radicals in Pakistan. Will this be the first of many international calls for Pakistan to change it ways?
Monday, January 6th, 2014
Monday, January 6th, 2014
From prison in Pakistan, Asia Bibi wrote a letter to Pope Francis over the Christmas holiday declaring that only God could liberate her from prison. Asia has been languishing in Pakistani prison for four and a half years after being accused and convicted of blasphemy under Pakistan's controversial anti-blasphemy laws. Many human rights groups agree that the controversial laws are often abused, often to the determent of religious minorities in Pakistan. Please pray for Asia Bibi and her continued struggle.
Sunday, January 5th, 2014
For decades, Christians in Pakistan have been disenfranchised in the electoral system in Pakistan, suffered from under-represenation in the Pakistani government and languished under the abuse of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. The Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), a Christian rights group in Pakistan, has announced its intentions to initiate an international campaign to confront and redress these issues facing the Christian minority in Pakistan. Please pray for the success of these campaigns.
Saturday, January 4th, 2014
Blasphemy victim Asia Bibi wrote Pope Francis saying only God can liberate her from death row in Pakistan. Since being accused of blasphemy in 2009, Asia has been imprisoned in Pakistan. Considered one of Pakistan most high profile blasphemy cases, two government officials have been murdered in connection with the trial against Asia. Please pray for Asia, her family and all other blasphemy victims in Pakistan.
Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
In early December, Pakistan's Federal Sharia Court (FSC) ordered the government to remove the punishment of life imprisonment from the list of punishments courts could prescribe in blasphemy cases. The FSC has given the government three months to enact the order through the parliament. This order was given after the FSC reviewed the list of possible punishments under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws and found that anything other than a death sentence was 'un-Islamic'. Many Christians fear that this will only embolden radical elements in Pakistan's Muslim population to abuse Pakistan's blasphemy laws to persecute religious minorities. Please pray that Pakistan doesn't enact the FSC's order.
Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
Christians in Pakistan have long suffered under the abuse of the country's controversial blasphemy laws. In a recent decision, the Federal Sharia Court of Pakistan has declared that the government must remover the punishment of life imprisonment from Pakistan's blasphemy laws. This would leave execution as the exclusive punishment for those convicted of blasphemy. Often Christians and other religious minorities are falsely accused by members of the majority Sunni Muslim population to settle scores or eliminate rivals. Many Christian leaders fear this recent court decision will make the abuse of Pakistan's blasphemy laws more deadly.
Thursday, December 12th, 2013
After the Federal Sharia Court (FSC) of Pakistan declared its decision that only death sentences were appropriate in cases where an individual was found guilty under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, a Christian civil rights group has called on the government to make real reforms to the controversial laws that have abused religious minorities for decades. Many Christians believe that this change to Pakistan's blasphemy laws will only make the abuse of them more deadly. Christians and other religious minorities are disproportionately accused and convicted under Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Many are falsely accused by members of Pakistan's majority Sunni Muslim population seeking to eliminate a business rival or just abuse them as religious minorities. Please pray for real reform to Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) in Pakistan has ordered the government to remove the option of life imprisonment as a punishment for the crime of blasphemy. The FSC decided that it was un-Islamic for anyone found guilty of the crime of blasphemy to receive anything but a death sentence for their crime. Many Christians and other religious minorities fear this "reform," because they are disproportionately accused of blasphemy by Pakistan's majority Sunni Muslim population. Often, Pakistan's blasphemy laws are abused to eliminate rivals and persecute religious minorities. Many Christians now fear that false blasphemy accusations have become more deadly.
Monday, December 9th, 2013
The Federal Shariat Court has revised Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws by issuing orders to remove the ability of court's sentence accused blasphemers to life in prison. According to the court, death is the only punishment appropriate for blasphemers. This decision may be detrimental to many religious minorities in Pakistan who are disproportionately accused of blasphemy. The human rights community agrees that the laws have been abused by many in Pakistan to eliminate rivals and abuse minority groups. Christians have often been on the receiving end of the this abuse and blasphemy accusation, whether falsified or true, often act as a preamble to broader communal violence against the religious minority.
Thursday, December 5th, 2013
In a recent study conducted by Maplecroft, Pakistan was ranked fourth among countries posing an extreme risk to the human rights of its own population in Asia. This study was released as the UK Parliament discussed the issue of Christian persecution in the Middle East and Asia. Pakistan and its abused Christian minority were discussed at length in the parliament, ultimately leading to one member of the debate to call on Pakistan to revise its controversial blasphemy laws.
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
The final witness against Sawan Masih, a Christian accused of blasphemy in Pakistan, is set to take the stand December 7th. The blasphemy accusations against Masih in late March are what sparked off anti-Christian riots in a Christian neighborhood named Joseph's Colony in the Pakistani city of Lahore. When the dust settled, over 200 Christian families had their homes destroyed and possessions stolen in the riots. Justice for these families remains elusive, yet justice against Masih has been conducted in a very swift manner.