The brother of Shahbaz Bhatti, a government minister who was killed by terrorists for opposing the controversial blasphemy laws in Pakistan, told the U.K. parliament that his country finally appears to be moving toward religious freedom.
The people of Pakistan have seen enough religiously-motivated violence that has killed an estimated 60,000 people in 20 years, and now want tolerance, Paul Bhatti, whose brother was killed in 2011, told the parliament last week, according to Catholic Herald.
"We are still facing the cruel and harsh realities of violence against the weak and voiceless people of our community," but there is improvement, he was quoted as saying. more >>
A Pakistani Christian family has been forced to flee from home and is now in hiding after the family's eight-year-old daughter was beaten and locked inside of her school's bathroom for hours after she allegedly used a toilet designated for Muslims.
The British Pakistani Christian Association, a London-based humanitarian organization, reports that Sara Bibi, the youngest of five siblings, was expelled from the Government's Girls School in Samundari area of the Punjab province after she was accused of using the same toilet that her Muslim classmates use.
While a common mentality displayed in the Pakistani Muslim community is that Christians are "unclean," Bibi's classmates accused her of "polluting" their toilet. After her classmates informed the school's headmistress, Zahida Rana, that Bibi used the Muslim toilet, Bibi was verbally scolded and abused by the headmistress. more >>
A 13-year-old Christian girl from Sikandarpura in Pakistan has reportedly been kidnapped from her parents, raped, and forced into marriage by a Muslim man.
The British Pakistani Christian Association reported on Monday that 47-year-old father Shahid Jaan reported last week that his 13-year-old daughter, Sana Bibi, had been abducted, raped and forced into Islamic marriage.
The Muslim man accused of kidnapping the girl was identified as Waheed Akhtar, a former neighbor. more >>
One year after the burning deaths of a Pakistani Christian couple for their alleged desecration of a Quran, fear still runs rampant within Christian communities of Punjab province since no assailants of the crime have been convicted and the vast majority remain at-large.
In November of last year, Shama and Shahzad Masih, a married couple with four children living in a community near Lahore, were attacked and murdered by a Muslim mob after witnesses claimed they found pages of the Quran in their trash.
On the anniversary of the murders, many within the community have expressed frustration with local officials regarding the progress of the investigation — or lack thereof. more >>
Muslim men who gangraped two teenage Pakistani Christian sisters at gunpoint last year have been acquitted of their charges by a Pakistani court after a key witness was bribed into changing his testimony.
During the middle of the night on Nov. 28, 2014, sisters Sherish and Farzana went outside of their home in the village of Jaranwala in the Punjab province to use the bathroom since their home did not have inside plumbing. The two girls did not return home that night and were found the next morning lying unconscious along the side of the road several miles from their home.
After the girls were taken to the hospital, they told police that a well-known Muslim landlord, Muhammad Shabaz, and other Muslim men had abducted them at gunpoint and raped them repeatedly throughout the night. more >>
Christian and human rights activists have hailed Pakistan's Supreme Court decision that the nation's notorious blasphemy laws, which have been used to target religious minorities, can be reformed.
"The court's judgment has provided hope to many that Pakistan may actually be able to reform its notorious blasphemy law. For many years, reform to the blasphemy laws was thought to be impossible because of the influence and fear of religious extremist groups in Pakistan. This recent judgement has opened the door for reform," said International Christian Concern's Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark.
"Now, Pakistan as a society must take the next steps to walk through it. Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan have historically suffered under the country's blasphemy laws. Disproportionately accused and convicted with little to no evidence, the call for adequate safeguards against false accusations is truly a step in the right direction," Stark added. more >>