05/06/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Even as false accusations of blasphemy against Christians in Pakistan continue to grow along with the rate of persecution, Maulana Tahir Ashrafi–the Special Representative to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony–announces that all is well. Earlier this week, he claimed that all Pakistanis enjoy the full spectrum of religious freedom and that the country’s notorious blasphemy laws are not being misused.
His comments come at a time when countries around the world are calling attention to the abuse surrounding the blasphemy law and how they are used to suppress and muzzle religious minorities. Individuals who convert from Islam are hunted down, disowned, persecuted, and even murdered because they have chosen to follow another faith. Ahmadi Muslims, Hindus, and Christians are systematically suppressed at the workplace, within civil society, by the government, and in practically all aspects of life in Pakistan.
A mere accusation of blasphemy will mark an individual and their family for life, nearly eliminating all hope of normal life. Extremist mobs often form and target the accused and their family with unimaginable violence.
“The Minister for Religious Harmony is clearly out of touch with reality,” said Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy for International Christian Concern. “One has to ask the question; what facts is he citing when he says that there is no issue with the blasphemy law? Nearly all accusations of blasphemy are based on lies, and even though they are proven as such, the individual is ruined for life. If Pakistan truly wants to have a society that celebrates religious freedom, they should repeal the blasphemy laws and eliminate hateful rhetoric from their schoolbooks.”
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