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ICC Note:

Christians, one of Pakistan’s few religious minorities, have found themselves under increasing attack due to their religious identity. A deadly mix between religious extremism and resentment towards the West has caused Christians in Pakistan to be seen as outsiders, a group that doesn’t belong in Pakistan. Unprotected by the government and suffering at the hands of extremists, how long until there are no Christians left in Pakistan? 

8/4/2014 Pakistan (Pakistan Christian Post) – Sehrish Ishfaq, age 5, was a poor Pakistani Christian girl that drown in the seasonal drainage during the first monsoon rain in the federal capital. When she was found dead, a voice reiterated itself, “How this could be possible?” I shook my head in disbelief while speaking on the mobile phone. In state of disbelief, I stood up, changed my clothes and went to see her. Her dead body was there, people around me were sad, her mother was crying. But this wasn’t the first time. In fact, during the last year, two young Christians have drowned in French Colony, sector F-7 and I have attended their funeral.

A couple of days before Eid (religious festivity after Ramazan), a mob killed a member of the Ahamdi sect (who consider themselves Muslim but believe in a prophet after Mohammed) and two of her granddaughters. Eight others were severely injured after another member was accused of posting blasphemous material on Facebook. The dead including a seven-year-old girl and her baby sister, the attackers, after looting the valuables, set 5 houses on fire.

Christians count themselves among religious minorities that made up 15% of the population at pre-partition. Now minorities have fallen to roughly around 5% of the country. The Christian community in Pakistan, roughly around 15 million, is the largest religious minority present here. But the actual figure is never reported; because there has been no census after 1998.

Yet the minorities are being persecuted, targeted, slaughtered and killed, without mercy – just because our faith is not the same as that our killers’. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of Western churches. The silence has been nearly deafening. In this predominantly Muslim nation, religious extremism and resentment of the West contribute to the violence against Pakistani Christians. We feel most of the time we are not equal. Not only unequal, but the growing feeling is that we are not even wanted.

Some of the violence against Christians is directly related to the American-let war against Muslims in different countries like war in Afghanistan, Iraq and to some extant Israel’s war against Philistine, so has an expressly political motive. For example, months after the US-led coalition attacked Afghanistan in 2001, a grenade attack on a chapel inside a Christian Mission Hospital in Taxila city killed four people.

My concern is; what is the future of Christians in Pakistan? In fact, the right question is, do they have a future here at all?

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