June 9, 2011 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) is alarmed by a call to ban the Bible in Pakistan. On May 30, Muslim clerics and politicians held a press conference in Lahore calling on Pakistan’s Supreme Court to ban the Bible because of its allegedly blasphemous scriptures.
Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, an Islamic political party with a large number of followers, claimed that the Bible contains passages that are extremely insulting to Islam’s prophets.
The scriptures that the Muslims consider blasphemous include: the story of the Last Supper, Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane, the story about David committing adultery with Bathsheba, the story about Israel worshipping the golden calf, and Jacob’s marriage to Leah.
Stating his motive in calling for the ban, Farooqi said that the burning of the Qur’an by American pastor Terry Jones in Florida on March 20 had crushed the spirit of the Muslims and that Muslims were extremely angry over it.
“The Bible is a universal truth and Christians need not to worry at all [about the threat to ban it]. Such threats against Christianity have been happening since the inception of the faith. Being true believers, we should encourage and pray for one another to face such circumstances, and be firm in our faith. We should protest peacefully, keeping in mind that our real weapon is prayer,” said Reverend Arif Siraji in an interview with ICC. Reverend Siraji is a leader in a Presbyterian church in Pakistan.
ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said, “We are concerned by this call to the Bible in Pakistan. This demand by the Islamists is additional evidence of the worsening persecution of Christians in Pakistan. We ask all concerned individuals to urge their governments to pressure Pakistan to not ban the Bible.”