Government Official Claims Pakistani Christians Are ‘Not Being Targeted by Blasphemy Laws’

(PHOTO: REUTERS/MOHSIN RAZA)
Women from the Christian community mourn for their relatives, who were killed by a suicide attack on a church, during their funeral in Lahore, March 17, 2015. Suicide bombings outside two churches in Lahore killed 14 people and wounded nearly 80 others during services on Sunday in attacks claimed by a faction of the Pakistani Taliban.

Some members of the Pakistani government are saying they don’t believe Christian minorities are being targeted by the country’s controversial blasphemy laws despite numerous instances of Christians being beaten, lynched, and even burned alive in mob attacks. 

As the British Pakistani Christian Association reported, Interior Minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan recently denied that religious minorities are suffering because of the blasphemy laws, which seek to punish those deemed to have committed an offense against the Islamic faith.

“The facts and figures reveal that in most blasphemy cases the accused were Muslims,” Khan reportedly said, pointing to Senate House Data that looked at 129 cases of blasphemy, 99 of which were registered against other Muslims.

“These facts point toward the fact that religious minorities are not being embroiled in blasphemy cases more than Muslims,” Khan argued.

“In essence, religious minorities are not being targeted by the blasphemy laws.”

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA, countered that government officials are twisting statistics and ignoring that religious minorities, such as Christians, are indeed being targeted by such laws.

“Sadly, Mr Khan’s comments, even when taken at face value, suggest that minority persecution is way above the expected values for such a small percentile of Pakistan’s population,” Chowdhry said.

“His contrived results have failed to recognize that Christians in recent years have become the number one target of blasphemy allegations. It is our belief that a large proportion of the 26 percent of blasphemy convictions listed against minorities will have sentenced Christians, yet we contribute only 1.6 percent of the entire national population,” he pointed out.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Stoyan Zaimov

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