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ICC Note:

A Christian employee at a hospital in Pakistan has reported that his Muslim superiors demanded he recite verses of the Quran or else resign from his job. The Christian, Marshal Ashiq, refused to recite the Quranic verses claiming that it violated his religious freedom rights guaranteed by Pakistan’s constitution. Other Christian employees faced similar threats and even suffered different forms of abuse when they refused their superior’s demands. Discrimination against religious minorities in Pakistan is quite common, especially in the workplace. Will police and other authorities look into this matter or will it be ignored as just another abuse Christians in Pakistan must endure as religious minorities? 

05/18/2017 Pakistan (Christian Post) – A Christian employee of a hospital in Pakistan would rather resign his job than violate his religious beliefs.

Marshal Ashiq, 23, told World Watch Monitor (WWM) that this was his response when the hospital’s Muslim official demanded that he and other Christian workers of the government-run health facility memorize and recite verses from the Quran.

Ashiq said he refused to obey the order made by Dr. Muhammad Sarfaraz, the medical superintendent of the Mian Mir Hospital in Lahore. As a result, he was detained in the hospital’s storeroom for two days.

Sarfaraz reportedly slapped another Christian employee, Adnan Masih, also for refusing to memorize portions of the Quran.

Moreover, the Tribune reported that all Christian employees of the hospital were marked absent if they failed to attend the hospital’s morning assembly where they, and even patients, were asked to listen to Islamic preaching.

After he was punished for refusing to heed Sarfaraz’s order, Ashiq said he went to the Mustafabad Police Station to seek protection from possible legal action that might be taken against him by the hospital official.

Ashiq noted that Article 20 of the Pakistan Constitution guarantees that no one can be forced into any religious practice or belief against their own faith.

The Christian hospital employee said he was apprehensive that Sarfaraz might accuse him of blaspheming the Quran, a crime punishable by death in the Muslim-majority nation.

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