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Pakistan: Persecution Is Rife, Says Cleric

ICC Note

“It’s largely low-level harassment: not being shortlisted for jobs because you’re a Christian, or, if you do get the job, your colleagues making you so miserable that you have to leave. Also, in some cases, Christian businessmen have been told that they’ll only get the most lucrative contracts if they convert to Islam.”

12/10/2010 Pakistan (Church Times)-The only female presbyter-in-charge in the Church of Pakistan has warned of the wide­spread persecution of Christians in the country.

The Revd Jane Shaw, an Anglican woman priest from England, has said that persecution of Chris­tians is rife. Some of it is violent, but most of it is more insidious. “It’s largely low-level harassment: not being shortlisted for jobs because you’re a Christian, or, if you do get the job, your colleagues making you so miserable that you have to leave. Also, in some cases, Christian businessmen have been told that they’ll only get the most lucrative contracts if they convert to Islam.”

Other harassment includes the bullying of Chris­tian children at school, the eviction of Christians from accom­modation without notice, and eviction of occupation of Christians’ land by influential com­munity members.

Ms Shaw said this week that after the anti-Christian riots in Gojra last year (News, 7 August 2009), which resulted in the death of eight Chris­tians, she found families living in a graveyard after being evicted from their homes. She was also told that Christians who had been dis­missed from their jobs during the riots were never reinstated.

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