06/29/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – In May, a Christian in Pakistan was abused and threatened by Muslim coworkers at a hospital in Karachi after he received a promotion the month before. To protect his own safety, and the safety of his family, the Christian eventually decided to forfeit the promotion and request a transfer to a new hospital.
According to documents received by International Christian Concern (ICC), Riaz Gill was promoted to Grade 18 as a Senior Head Clerk to take case of administrative matters at Jinnah Hospital in Karachi. Shortly after receiving this promotion, Gill was abused and threatened by Muslim coworkers who refused to work under the leadership of a Christian.
“Some Muslim doctors intruded in my office,” Gill said in a video posted to social media. “They abused me, thrashed me, and dragged me on the floor in the presence of a policeman.”
“The policeman did not help and refused to register a FIR against the culprits,” Gill continued. “This all started in April 2021 after I was promoted to a higher post at the hospital.”
According to Gill, Muslim coworkers told him that they could not accept a “Choora” and “Bhungi”, derogatory terms used to denote Christians as untouchable in Pakistan, in a leadership position at the hospital.
“Even my family was harassed when a few men forcibly entered into my house a week ago,” Gill told ICC. “The men wanted me to withdrawal from the position to which I was promoted. They did not like working under the leadership of a Christian. Therefore, I had no other choice but to step down.”
In an open letter to leaders in Pakistan, Gill explained the discrimination he faced as a Christian in Pakistan. The also asked for his job to be transferred to another hospital in Karachi.
Christians in Pakistan face high levels of discrimination. The affects the jobs Christians can work, the schools Christians are able to attend, and even the neighborhoods in which Christians are allowed to live. In many cases, Christians are considered second-class citizens by their Muslims compatriots and instances of direct persecution can break out when the perceived hierarchy of religious identities is violated.
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