Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Church official in Pakistan: Christians are ‘treated like animals,’ subject to rape and slavery

Catholic World News - March 25, 2010

An official of the Pakistani bishops’ conference has called upon the international community to exert pressure upon the nation’s government and defend the nation’s beleaguered Christian minority.

“In Pakistan, Christians suffer and see their lives in danger every day,” said Father John Shakir Nadeem, secretary of the bishops’ commission for social communications. “In some areas, believers are treated like animals, in slavery or subjected to harassment, violence, and forced conversions.”

“There is a widespread phenomenon of kidnapping of Christian girls, with death threats to the poorest families,” he continued. “Their abduction is followed by conversion and forced marriage. It is a stigma that many NGOs [non-governmental organizations] denounce in the face of the indifference of the authorities.”

He continued:

The situation is certainly varies between urban and rural areas. Christians in the city-- even in a general context of discrimination-- live together in neighborhoods called “colonies.” They have access to education, social services, to work. 30% of the Christian population can also make their way in society, even though here we are exposed to terrorist attacks against churches and Christian areas.

In remote villages, rural areas, the situation is very different. Small Christian groups, often poor, marginalized, and illiterate, suffer the oppression of the Muslim majority and are under the rule of others who make their profit by bullying, to rape, slavery, murder … Christians are often subject to false accusations of blasphemy, to threats of conversion, violence against women, property and possessions.

The Church spokesman made his complaint as Christians in Rawalpindi gathered for the funeral of Arshed Masih, who died from burns that covered 80% of his body. Neighbors reported that Masih was burned by local police-- the same police who had raped his wife.

Christians are a tiny minority in Pakistan's overwhelmingly Muslim population; only 0.7% of the Islamic republic’s 159.6 million people are Catholic.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,821 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,178.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17