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ICC Note:

The Church in the U.K. has called on its government to put pressure on Pakistan to stop the persecution of Christians within its borders. Pakistani Christians are among the world’s most persecuted and are forced to endure false blasphemy accusations, mob violence, forced conversions and widespread discrimination. As a commonwealth nation, would Pakistan give in to pressure from the U.K. and start doing more to protect its Christian minority?

09/28/2016 Pakistan (Christian Today) – The moderator of the Church of Scotland has voiced his support for persecuted Christians in Pakistan and written to the UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson, asking him to put pressure on Pakistani authorities to stop the abuse.

The Right Rev Dr Russell Barr said Christians were being abducted and forcibly converted to Islam against their will. In a letter to Johnson on Tuesday he said Muslims who kidnapped Christians were protected by police and not enough force was put on the government to address the issue.

“Forcible conversion to any religion is a crime, even under Pakistani law,” Barr told Johnson in his letter.

“My fear is that if pressure is not brought to bear on the Pakistan government the problem will continue to grow and people will continue to commit such crimes with impunity without any fear of punishment.

“I therefore request that you raise this matter with the Government of Pakistan, asking them to stop this persecution, bring the perpetrators to justice and introduce new legislation as suggested by the Senate committee.”

Christians make up two per cent of Pakistan’s 200 million population and face extensive persecution at the hands of increasingly militant extremists. The country’s controversial blasphemy law has been used to target Christians, according to the persecution charity Open Doors.

“Christians experience more violence in Pakistan than almost anywhere else,” the charity said. It ranks Pakistan as the sixth worst country for Christian persecution, shortly behind Syria, Iraq and North Korea, with around 700 women and girls abducted, raped and forcibly married every year.

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