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ICC Note:

Pakistan continues to rank among the world’s worst violators of religious freedom. Religious minorities, including Christians, are often targeted by terrorist groups and are widely discriminated against by Pakistan’s majority Muslim population. In Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, a Christian businessman is building a 14-story cross as a simple of hope and comfort for Christians who face daily persecution in Pakistan. 

5/19/2015 Pakistan (Fox News) – A Pakistani businessman who is building a 14-story cross in the heart of Pakistan’s largest city claims he got the idea when God came to him in a dream.

Parvez Henry Gill, part of the small Christian minority in predominantly Muslim nation, is believes his 140-foot-tall cross will be a source of comfort and inspiration for the country’s followers of Christ, who often face persecution and violence.

“I said, ‘I am going to build a big cross, higher than any in the world, in a Muslim country,’” Gill told the The Washington Post. “It will be a symbol of God, and everybody who sees this will be worry-free.”

The cross is being built at the entrance to the largest Christian burial ground in Karachi, Gora Qabristan Cemetery, in the southern section of the city. Made of concrete and steel, the massive monument will boast a 42-foot wide crosspiece and will be the largest in Asia.

Tombstones in the graveyard are often defaced, but Gill hopes the cross while be a beacon of hope in his country for minority Christians and encourage them to remain in Pakistan.

“I want Christian people to see it and decide to stay here,” Gill said to the newspaper.

Pakistan’s population of 180 million is about 90 percent Muslim, with Christians comprising just 1.5 percent.

In March, a teenager in the city of Lahore was doused in kerosene and burned alive. Nauman Masih, died from his injuries a few days later, according to local reports. A friend of Masih told local new agencies at his funeral that he had been murdered for his faith and that his attackers asked him if he was Christian before throwing fuel on him.

Also in March, 15 people were killed during two separate church services in Lahore by suicide bombers. And in November, an angry mob buried a Christian couple alive in a brick oven after they were wrongly accused of destroying a Koran.

Gill hopes his cross will send a positive message around the globe, and “tell the world that there are good people in Pakistan, too.”

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