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Another 'blasphemy' arrest draws protest from Pakistan's Catholic bishops

CWN - June 24, 2010

The arrest of a Pakistani man on blasphemy charges has prompted the country’s Catholic bishops’ conference to protest the misuse of the law “to strike religious minority groups.”

Rehmat Masih, a Christian resident of Faisalabad, was accused of blasphemous remarks about the prophet Mohammed. Neighbors said that the charges were false; they were apparently lodged by a Muslim neighbor with whom Masih had an economic dispute. Christians in Pakistan have frequently complained that the blasphemy laws are exploited to intimidate the Christian minority. “The government of Pakistan must wake up and shoulder its responsibilities, at both the legal and the political level, and explain why this law is allowed to harass and abuse innocent Pakistani citizens,” said Peter Jacob, the executive director of the Catholic bishops’ justice and peace commission.

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