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ICC Note:

In an event organized at the United Nations in Geneva, Pakistani Christians shared testimony regarding the persecution their community faces on a daily basis. Widespread discrimination, blasphemy laws, forced conversions, and targeted attacks by Pakistan’s terrorist groups only name a few of the issues faced by Christians in Pakistan. The Christians bearing witness to the United Nations hope that their testimony will move the multinational organization to put pressure on Pakistan to improve its treatment of the Christian community. 

09/22/2017 Pakistan (PR Newswire) – The European Organization for Pakistani Minorities organized an event entitled “Persecution without Prosecution: The Plights of Pakistani Christians” at the United Nations, Geneva on 18 September 2017. The event was moderated by Dr. Mario Silva, Executive Director of the Toronto-based IFFRAS organization, while the speakers included Alberto Cirio, Member of the European Parliament and Farrukh Harrison, Pastor and Christian victim from Pakistan. Another speaker Pastor Humayun Sunil, who was also a witness of persecution of Christians in Pakistan, was not allowed to exit the country by Pakistani immigration.

Opening the event, Dr. Mario Silva stated that the situation in Pakistan for the minorities was not getting any better. He called Pakistan as the 4th most dangerous country on earth for members of religious faiths and stated that despite being a part of Pakistani society since the inception of the country, the Christians were the most persecuted victims of social discrimination, violence and near constant threats of terrorist attacks.

The first speaker was Mr. Alberto Cirio, who has been a speaker on Christian persecution in Pakistan on earlier occasions at the United Nations, he mentioned that persecution of this community had become a daily routine in Pakistan and with every passing year the number of incidents of violence and discrimination continued to increase. He added that an increasingly radicalized society was making matters worse and the administration and the police were failing to carry out their duty to provide protection to the Christian community. Speaking on issues that Pakistani Christians are grappled with each day, he mentioned forced conversion to Islam, rape of Christian women and denial of equal rights including political rights, as enjoyed by the majority Muslim Sunni community.

Pastor Farrukh Harrison, who has witnessed persecution in Pakistan informed the gathering that since Pakistan had been envisioned as a country only for Muslims, the sidelining of minorities was a natural course of action. He, however, was of the opinion that the discrimination and persecution of the religious minorities was rooted in the Pakistani Constitution of 1973, wherein religious minorities were banned from any higher official position in the government.

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