Report: More Christians fleeing Pakistan
Catholic World News - July 25, 2011
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has published a report on the worsening situation of Christians and other non-Muslims in Pakistan.
“There remains a large gulf between last year’s advances in government policy towards religious minorities and the reality of life for these groups in Pakistani society,” the report notes. “At present the state is neither preventing nor punishing lawlessness--effectively handing over justice to the most powerful or influential parties in any given region. There has been a marked increase in the level of fear among Christians and Hindus, with greater numbers seeking to flee the country.”
“There exist deeply-rooted problems in the police service, prisons, judiciary and court system alike, including the susceptibility of district level staff to bribery or intimidation, and inadequate knowledge of the law,” the report adds in its discussion of blasphemy legislation. “Religious freedom concerns center on discrimination against religious minorities on the part of state officials, the result being a decreased access to justice for non-Muslims.”
“An extremely narrow version of Islam is now being promoted in Pakistan, to the exclusion of all others,” the report continues. “The public space for debate is rapidly shrinking, with the loudest, most aggressive voices sidelining other claims to free expression.”
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