Christians in Pakistan are facing increased levels of persecution as the Islamic population has become emboldened against non-Muslims in their country, especially Christians and Hindus.
The American Center for Law and Justice and their European branch have filed 13 reports to the UN Human Rights Council regarding the persecution of Christians across the world.
One country being reviewed this session is Pakistan. While Pakistan was created to provide religious freedom to Muslims who were a minority in the Indian subcontinent, ironically Christians and other minorities in Pakistan now face discrimination and persecution at the hands of Muslims. Much of the persecution occurs, inter alia, under Pakistan's notorious blasphemy laws, through forced religious conversion of young minority girls to Islam, and as a result of the widespread practice of bonded labor.
Our Pakistan report filed with the U.N. specifically addresses the growing trend of forced religious conversion of young Christian and Hindu girls and their forced marriages with Muslim men. Our report exclaims that "[e]ach year, approximately 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. This trend is growing, the federal and provincial governments have failed to take action, and ‘[t]he police are usually reluctant or fail to investigate the cases properly.'"
The story from the ACLJ goes on to share details of some of the cases in the report dealing with the atrocities against Christians taking place in Pakistan.
The report highlights the case of Mehak James, "a Christian child who disappeared from her home in September 2020, two days after randomly and inappropriately receiving over 40 calls from a 45-year-old Muslim neighbor." Even the Supreme Court of Pakistan has refused to order police to search for Mehak or investigate the suspect.
Christian children are being kidnapped and forced into marriages with adult Muslim men.
This is in the 2020s and Pakistan's courts could care less about these victims.
More atrocities include show trials for "blasphemy" cases.
We highlight the case of Shahzad Masih, "a young Christian man who was 17 years old when he was arrested over a false blasphemy accusation. His trial has taken almost five years and the District and Sessions Court continues to postpone the hearing for closing statements."
The most egregious fact our report discusses is:
"While in most blasphemy cases, there is at least a false allegation, in this case, the allegation does not even constitute blasphemy. All the witnesses have testified that Shahzad told a Muslim co-worker that his father's friend passes derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad. The investigating officer stated that an eyewitness did not observe any insult against the Prophet in Shahzad's conversation. He further testified that he did not find that Shahzad had committed any crime..."
Our report also discusses the case of two Christian brothers, Qaiser Ayub and Amoon Ayub, who were convicted and sentenced to death by a trial court in December 2018 for allegedly posting sacrilegious content against Islam on the internet. The High Court recently upheld their conviction, disregarding the fact that the prosecution had no evidence showing that the Ayub brothers authored and uploaded the blasphemous content. Our affiliate in Pakistan represents Amoon and is preparing to file an appeal at the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
As if these situations weren't bad enough, forced labor is still alive and well in Pakistan. And if you're a religious minority you are especially a target for this near slavery.
Explaining how bonded labor in Pakistan works, our report stated:
"Bonded laborers are forced to work for very low wages. Often the employers give small loans (unlawful under Pakistani law) to the laborers, which the employers deduct from already low wages. However, the loans are almost never paid off due to the corrupt bookkeeping practices by the employers. This problem is especially found in the Christian communities that are often poor and work for majority Muslim employers who take advantage of them."
Our Christian brothers and sisters are enduring terrible persecution in Pakistan, a supposed ally nation of the United States.
I highly doubt that the UN is going to do anything about this.
We need to pray for our brothers and sisters facing persecution, forced marriage, and death in Pakistan.
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