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International Christian Concern

2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #941 u Washington DC 20006-1846

www.www.persecution.org / Email: icc@www.persecution.org

For Immediate Release

International Christian Concern Urges Pope to Confront Pakistani President Musharraf on Christian Persecution in Pakistan

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( Washington D.C. , Sept. 28)—The Washington, D.C. based, human rights organization International Christian Concern (ICC – www.www.persecution.org) is urging His Holiness Pope John Paul II to raise concerns over Christian persecution and harsh blasphemy laws in Pakistan to President Pervez Musharraf during their meeting Thursday, 30 September 2004. ICC believes that this is a rare opportunity to raise the plight of Christians to President Musharraf, and to bring the attention of the global community to the human rights abuses occurring in Pakistan .

Currently, blasphemy laws in Pakistan have been used to target Christians in suppressing the expression of their faith. Christians unjustly charged with blasphemy have been beaten, and even murdered while in police custody. Pakistan ’s blasphemy laws are a direct violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights granting “freedom of thought, conscience and religion…in public or private.” While President Musharraf has promised to reform current blasphemy laws, no action has been taken and Christian persecution continues unabated.

ICC is requesting that concerned individuals and organizations join them in writing to the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States , Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo. Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo can be reached at the Vatican ’s Apostolic Nunciature (equivalent to an Embassy) in the U.S. at (202) 333-7121, or (202) 337-4036 (Fax). Urge His Holiness through Archbishop Montalvo to be faithful to cries of Pakistani Christians and raise these concerns before President Musharraf. ICC has provided a letter that can be sent through the Apostolic Nuncio in the U.S. to the Pope on its website, www.www.persecution.org. We pray that Pope John Paul II will hear our cries and advocate on behalf of the Body of Christ.

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.
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