Pakistan is the sixth most populous country and with an area covering 796,095 km2 (307,374 sq mi), it is the 36th largest country in the world in terms of area. With a population exceeding 180 million people
Pakistan is a diverse society with various ethnic and religious minorities. According to Western religious freedom and human rights monitoring groups, religious minorities in Pakistan face severe discrimination
In a 2011 book, Ishtiaq Ahmed wrote that “Some independent studies, however, suggest that the non-Muslims population of Pakistan is nearly 10 per cent and Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis make up four million each. It is generally noted that while majorities play down minority figures, the minorities inflate them. This is especially true of the Ahmadiyya community. Official statistics return less than half a million for them while the Ahmadis claim to be around ten million.”
Imagine you are a person of Christian faith living as a citizen in persthe Islamic Republic of Pakistan: every moment your life is at risk. Imagine a Pakistani Muslim shouting that you have burned a page of holy Quran when you have not; or accusing you of having desecrated the Prophet Mohammed: you have hardly any chance of saving yourself. There would be no question of providing evidence or proof against you. You would be killed either by the mob or by the country’s legal system.
The Human Rights Watch noted that the condition of religious minorities deteriorated sharply in 2012, with the government unwilling or unable to provide protection against attacks by extremists or to reign in abuses committed by its own security forces. Mass anti-Christian violence occurred in the 2009 Gojra riots and in the 2013 Joseph Colony riot and the 2013 Gujranwala riot. Recent anti-Shia violence includes the February 2012 Kohistan Shia Massacre, the August 2012 Mansehra Shia Massacreand the particularly deadly January 2013 and February 2013 Quetta bombings. The Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan was targeted in the similarly deadly May 2010 attacks on Ahmadi mosques in Lahore; the New York Times noted on that occasion that “Minority sects like the Ahmadis and the Shiites and have come under increasing pressure as religious extremism has taken hold, fomented by sectarian groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, formerly state-sponsored organizations.”
Religious discrimination in Pakistan is a serious issue. Christians, Hindus and Ahmadi Muslims among other many other religious groups in Pakistan are routinely discriminated against. They are at time refused jobs, loans, housing and other similar things simply because of their choice of religious faith. Christian Churches and Ahmadi mosques and their worshipers are often attacked.
In 2011 religious intolerance was reported to be at its height, hundreds of minorities, women, journalists and liberals were being killed by Islamist fundamentalist extremists, while the Government remained mostly a silent spectator, often only making statements which condemned the ruthless acts of violence by the extremists but taking no real concrete action against them.
Violence and discrimination against religious minorities in Pakistan has intensified, “Violent attacks against religious minorities occur against a backdrop of legal and social discrimination in almost every aspect of their lives, including political participation, marriage and freedom of belief.
The role of the Christian leaders are very weak in all departments, they act only when something happens and only for few days. No one is taking pain for the longtime. The major players of the Christian community is our political leaders and they are not elected they are selected majority of the leaders are FOR SALE. They say what government wants them to say.
The living examples are sitting MNA’s and MPA’s. A violent mob burnt alive Shahzad and Shama when she was pregnant. Ourshamaleaders came out not all few of them for few days after that WHAT everyone is sleeping “Sweet Dreams” Then recent event occurred in Youhanabad suicide attacks on 2 churches 17 died and 78 seriously injured. 2 Muslims buried by the angry mob and we condemn that brutality of the mob. Christian teaching is not to kill someone, we are the followers of the saviors Jesus Christ and Jesus teach us peace.
BUT… Our beloved Christian leaders in power are NOT try to locate the real culprits who planned these attacks they are running after the Youhanabad community and arrested more than 160 people without evidences and more of them are in missing persons list no one knows where they are?
Christian community is looking for a real leadership religious leaders and political leaders fail to provide them proper leadership in the country who can lead our community towards the justice.
Thousands of Christians and Hindus are believed to have fled Pakistan during the past years as a result of religious persecution, while doctors, lawyers and human rights activists have been murdered for supporting the cause of minority rights.
Pakistan Christians are regularly attacked, oppressed, with violent attacks on them and their houses of worship. Attacks on Christian churches targeting houses of worship are a basic definition of singular vulnerability and protected areas under our human rights.
Major attacks on Pakistan Christian Community and Churches:
— March 24, 2015 – Pakistan Christian church in Township, Lahore attacked by terrorist on motorbikes
— March 15, 2015 – two Pakistan Christian churches bombed in Youhanabad town of Lahore – 18 killed, over 70 injured
— September 22, 2013 – Pakistan Christian All Saints Church in Peshawar attacked by terrorist – 127 killed, over 250 injured
— July 5, 2013 – Pakistan Christian church Assembly of God Church, in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province attacked killing one person
— September 21, 2012 – Pakistan Christian Church in Mardan set on fire by a mob of protesters, as well as high school, library, and house of nearby Christians
— February 17, 2011 – in Gujranwala, twelve worshippers at a Pentecostal church are pulled out and beaten by an Extremist mob.
— December 25, 2009 – in Songo, extremists open fire on a Presbyterian church, then enter the building and beat a woman to death— February 2009 – in Songo, extremists open fire on a Presbyterian church, then enter the building and beat a woman to death— July 2008 – mob stormed Protestant Christian church during prayer services on outskirts of Karachi, and injuring pastor and others
— August 2006 — a church and Christian homes were attacked in a village outside of Lahore, and three Christians were seriously injured and one reported missing after about 35 Muslims burned buildings, desecrated Bibles and attacked Christians.
— February 2006 — Pakistan Christian churches and Christian schools were targeted, leaving two elderly women injured and many homes and much property destroyed
— November 2005 — 3,000 militant Islamists attacked Christians in Sangla Hill in Pakistan and destroyed Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and United Presbyterian churches.
— March 27, 2005 – in Khambay, four extremists open fire on an Pakistan Christian church Easter service, killing at least one Christian and injuring six other worshipers.
— December 25, 2002 — several days after an Islamic cleric called for Muslims to kill Christians, two burqa-clad Muslim gunmen tossed a grenade into a Presbyterian church during a Christian sermon in Chianwala in East Pakistan, killing three girls.
September 25, 2014 – In Rawalpindi, a policeman shoots a Christian pastor to death who was in jail for a false charge of blasphemy.
— February 11, 2014 – In Islamabad, an innocent Pakistan Christian father of two is arrested and tortured to death at the Kohsar Police Station
— March 9, 2013 – Christian neighborhood attacked in Lahore, where more than 100 houses were burned after a Christian was alleged to have made blasphemous remark
— March 2011 – Christian member of National Assembly Shahbaz Bhatti was killed by gunmen after he spoke out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
— April 2009 – mob attacks Christian community in Gojra, attacking 100 Christian home, burning 40 Christian homes, and burning 7 Pakistan Christians alive
Documented list of 153 attacks on Pakistan Christians throughout Pakistan, which I am sure is terribly incomplete, but provides statistical context on an environment of oppression of Pakistan Christians. You can download here
“The Pakistani government has systematically failed to protect the rights of religious minorities, who face discrimination in almost every aspect of their lives,” said Shobha Das, MRG’s director of programs. “The government’s unwillingness to protect all citizens not only violates Pakistan’s international legal commitments, but also helps foster a climate of impunity for the perpetrators of abuse, while minorities suffer in silence.”
Sadly, the leadership and media of the West do not even notice that three million Christians in Pakistan live in fear for their lives. While some international organizations are struggling to make blasphemy laws obsolete, the world’s most powerful leaders have been mostly silent about these crimes.