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ICC Note:
For decades, Christians in Pakistan have been forced to exist in an ever increasingly hostile and intolerant country. Christian journalists have been intimidated over the years into keeping silent on the issue of persecution. Now, the existence of many Christian communities in Pakistan is under threat and many people in the world don’t even know they exist. One Christian journalist speaks up against the silence and shares about his experience of being a persecuted Christian in Pakistan.
10/28/2013 Pakistan (Pakistan Christian Post) – Pursuing journalism in the country like Pakistan, which is dominated by Muslim religious extremist, is not easy, especially when you write about religious minorities. Pakistan is perhaps ranked the third most dangerous country for reporting. The country also has one of the highest numbers of journalists threatened, kidnapped and killed.
Before partition, the vision of the Muhammad Ali Jinnah was of a nation that would adopt secularism to accommodate its historically multi-religious and culturally diverse population. The Christians that chose to stay were assured of security and basic equal rights. Sadly, what is happening today is at total variance to the vision. Today, the very existence of these communities is under threat. It seems that Pakistan exists only as an Islamic state, comprising only of Sunni Muslims like Saudi Arabia. Pakistan has been carrying out the most insidious ethnic cleaning over the last four decades right under the eyes of the world.
My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate human rights violation and persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of those brave people to spotlight of the whole world.
Pakistan, is a place where those working to change an incredibly hostile climate for free speech have found themselves under fierce attack. So in this situation journalists do not dare to write about these activities.
Being a Christian journalist, it is indeed more dangerous to write on minorities’ issues. Many newsrooms forbid their journalists from reporting on these kinds of incidents. So it happens with me as well. On top of my routine work, I usually write on minorities issues. Working with different papers in the country, my editor told me to keep it low profile or stop writing on minority issues for a while, and if I had to, it would go without a byline.
Threats are now a routine matter; I even don’t make note of the phone calls or anything like this anymore. People know me and know, even without a byline, that I am writing on minority issues. Sometimes, they ask me, whom you are working for? My answer is simple, for Christ Jesus. No one can stop me until its God’s will. I work as diplomatic correspondents, also covering foreign office and Parliament House additional I do for my paper. Apart from my office responsibilities, I raise the voice of the most deprived portion of the society. They are usually called “chooras” (derogatory term used for Christians in Pakistan, also among the poorest sections of society and consigned to menial janitorial jobs). Sometimes they use this word for me as well, even if it is not in my presence but I know the mentality of their stiff mind-set.

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