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08/09/2022 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Recently, the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ), a human rights non-governmental organization, submitted a report on religious freedom conditions in Pakistan for review by the United Nations Human Rights Council. This review is part of the U.N.’s Universal Periodic Review program, through which the U.N. examines human rights conditions in each country around the world every three to four years. The ECLJ maintains a special consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council, enabling them to engage in this process throughout the year.

The ECLJ report submitted to the U.N. specifically highlights the most pressing persecution threats facing Christians in Pakistan. First and foremost, the report calls attention to the escalating phenomenon of kidnapping, forced conversion, and forced marriage against religious minority girls, who are often underaged. ECLJ directly points out that federal and regional governments have failed to take necessary action to curb this growing trend. The ECLJ also highlights other major concerns for Christians and other religious minority members in Pakistan. These other concerns include discriminatory treatment of these minorities by law enforcement and the justice system, blasphemy laws weaponized against minorities, and bonded labor, which entraps many Christians.

Advocacy efforts such as this ECLJ report submitted to the U.N. are critical to raising awareness about Christian persecution and human rights violations in Pakistan. Without strong international and domestic pressure, Pakistani government leaders and officials are unlikely to make any changes to improve conditions for oppressed minority groups. We pray that this ECLJ report would draw attention in the U.N. to the most significant problems facing Christians in Pakistan and would, in turn, reinforce the international community’s condemnation of these violations in the South Asian country.

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