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01/03/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – The Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan has called for greater interfaith harmony to counter the enemies of the country. Minister Sahibzada Noorul Haq Qadri went further to praise and highlight the contributions of religious minorities, including Christians, to the country’s history.

In his speech to an Interfaith Harmony Conference at Eidgah Sharif, Qadri called for concerted efforts to be made to promote interfaith harmony. He claimed that such measures were imperative to protect the basic rights of all citizens of Pakistan. Qadri further said that religious minorities in Pakistan, including Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs, were entitled to all fundamental rights and complete freedom to practice their faith.

In December 2018, Pakistan was designated as a “Country of Particular Concern” by the U.S. State Department due to ongoing and egregious religious freedom violations. The U.S. State Department found that Christians and other religious minorities face discrimination and outright persecution because of the faith identity.

Christians are often relegated to the lowest rungs of Pakistan’s social ladder because of their faith identity. Much of Pakistan’s Muslim population believes Christians are spiritually impure and therefore “untouchable” due to their faith. It can only be hoped that Minister Qadri’s call for greater interfaith harmony will confront this and many other issues faced by Pakistan’s religious minorities.

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