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ICC Note:

Dr. Mario Silva, Executive Director of the International Forum for Rights and Security, has called on the international community to do more to speak up for persecuted Christians in Pakistan. Pakistan regularly ranks among the world’s worst persecutors of Christians. Blasphemy laws that are abused and used to target Christians, forced conversions of Christian girls and women, and extremist groups targeting churches and other Christian gathering places only name a few of the issues Christians in Pakistan face. Widespread discrimination based on religious identity is another issue that Pakistan’s Christians are forced to endure on a daily basis. Will the international community speak out on behalf of these Christians? 

09/19/2017 Pakistan (Catch News) – Dr. Mario Silva, a former member of the Canadian Parliament and Executive Director of the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), has appealed to the international community to intervene in the issue of the persecution of Christian minorities in Pakistan under the blasphemy laws, while adding that the U.S., Europe and Canada must take Islamabad to task over this.

“I am concerned about the widespread discrimination against religious minorities, and in this case the persecution of Christians in Pakistan,” Silva said, in a conference organized against “Persecution of Christian Minorities in Pakistan” at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

“We have to call the governments in Europe, the United States and Canada to ask what they are doing by maintaining a relationship with Pakistan. Why are you not speaking up with authorities regarding minority rights particularly with the persecution of Christians in that country? The countries must speak up against it.”

“There is a gross human rights violation against minorities under the blasphemy law as it specifically targets Christians by forcible conversion, imprisonment. The authorities do nothing about it and the Pakistan Government has refused to change the law,” he added.

Silva further said that the world community is aware of the atrocities taking place against the Christians in Pakistan and we want that “Islamabad must live up to its obligations” and ” the international community should stand up so that every country gives equal rights to every citizen irrespective of religion.”

“Pakistan, which once had very large Christian community and lots of Christian schools, hasn’t remained so. We have seen that the country that started with democratic liberal values has transformed to become more conservative, has embraced radicalization and funding of large terror cells. This is a huge concern as Pakistan is supported by partners in the West,” Silva said.

“There have been several cases of bomb attacks specifically targeting Christians. We are here to bring the focus of the world community to the atrocities taking place against the Christian minorities in Pakistan.”

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