Friday, December 10, 2010

Pakistan: persecution is rife, says cleric

From The Church Times-

THE only female presbyter-in-charge in the Church of Pakistan has warned of the wide spread persecution of Christians in the country.

The Revd Jane Shaw, an Anglican woman priest from England, has said that persecution of Chris­tians is rife. Some of it is violent, but most of it is more insidious. “It’s largely low-level harassment: not being shortlisted for jobs because you’re a Christian, or, if you do get the job, your colleagues making you so miserable that you have to leave. Also, in some cases, Christian businessmen have been told that they’ll only get the most lucrative contracts if they convert to Islam.”

Other harassment includes the bullying of Chris tian children at school, the eviction of Christians from accom modation without notice, and eviction of occupation of Christians’ land by influential com­munity members.

Her comments came as it emerged that Asia Bibi, a Christian mother who has been sentenced to death by a court in Pakistan for blasphemy (News 26 November), now also has a price on her head. A radical Muslim cleric, Maulana Yousef Qureshi, has promised 500,000 Pak istani rupees (£3700) to anyone prepared to kill Mrs Bibi. Her family has been forced to go on the run to avoid attacks.

Mrs Bibi’s case has provoked international outcry against the country’s harsh blasphemy laws (News, 3 December). Pope Benedict XVI has made a public call for her release. It is hoped that she may win a pardon from the Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zadari.

More here-

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