Press Release March 12, 2003
Hate Campaign Waged Against Christian Minority In Pakistan
(Washington, DC, March 12, 2003) The Washington-DC based human rights group International Christian Concern was informed today that an intensive hate campaign is being conducted against the Christian minority of Pakistan by various militant Islamic groups. Christians in Pakistan represent about 2.5% of the total population. Large demonstrations have been held over the past two weekends in Karachi, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi protesting the expected war in Iraq, and urging citizens to boycott Christians and to wage a jihad against them. The Christians of Pakistan are targeted by these Islamic extremists solely because of their religious affiliation in this critical situation. Muslim clerics are openly asking for jihad against “infidels” in the mosques, and many Islamic youth groups are taking this religious obligation seriously. The Christians of Pakistan are expecting the worst.
The demonstrations have been called by the MMA, a coalition of Islamic radical parties linked with al Qaeda and the Taliban. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Chief of Operations for al Qaeda was captured in a house owned by one of the officials of Jamiat-I-Islami, an Islamic radical party in the Rawalpndi district. The MMA and Jamiat-I-Islami have declared Khalid Sheikh a “hero of Islam” for his part in waging a holy war against the “infidels.”
Pakistani Christians are feeling insecure, helpless, and unsafe as the government is not taking significant practical steps to protect the Christian community. The concerns and the plight of the Christian minority in Pakistan should be considered a serious issue by the international community, as the situation could turn violent with the outbreak of war in Iraq. Pakistani Christians appeal to the world for security against this rising tide of hatred as fueled by Islamic militants.
International Christian Concern is a Washington, DC-based human rights and aid organization that assists Christians worldwide who suffer oppression and persecution. More information is available on the ICC web site at www.www.persecution.org or by calling the ICC office at 1-301-989-1708.