11/24/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – The United States has once again designated Pakistan as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its egregious violations of religious freedom.
The designation was vehemently criticized by Pakistani officials. The Spokesperson for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, Asim Iftikhar Ahmed, said that the CPC designation was completely against the reality on the ground. Despite his claims, though, most NGOs on the ground—as well as several governments—report that Pakistan is trending downward for religious freedom in recent years. Pakistan has historically lied about the country’s treatment of religious minorities while continuing to claim internationally that the country is in doing well on the religious freedom front.
Secretary Blinken made the official CPC designations last week saying, “I am designating Burma (Myanmar), the People’s Republic of China, Eritrea, Iran, the DPRK, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern for having engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”
Christians are continually and systematically oppressed by segments of the Muslim community in Pakistan through legal structures like blasphemy laws as well as through societal discrimination. Forced conversions, kidnapping, and forced marriages of minor girls is also a growing problem. Some local governments are complicit in aiding and abetting the kidnappers.
Christians make up less than 2% of the population of Pakistan.
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