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Another Pakistani Christian woman faces blasphemy charge

Catholic World News - February 22, 2011

As the world waits for news about Asia Bibi, the young Pakistani Christian mother who has been condemned to death after being convicted of blasphemy, another Christian woman has been arrested on similar charges.

Agnes Nuggo was denounced for blasphemy after she became embroiled in a property dispute with Muslim neighbors in the Punjab province. Accused of making statements that insulted the Mohammed, she insists that she is innocent.

The case is typical: a Christian is accused by unfriendly neighbors; the charge is entirely dependent on the testimony of those neighbors. Despite the obvious weakness of the legal case, courts are under heavy pressure from Islamic militants to convict the accused. Christian women face additional risks because Islamic societies favor the testimony of male witnesses.

The Pakistani bishops’ justice-and-peace commission reports that 16 Christian women have been jailed for blasphemy since 1987. Only one Muslim and one

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