The Archbishop of Karachi and the head of the Council of Pakistani Bishops revealed that Christians in the country are under constant pressure to convert to Islam, most notably in schools.
In the wake of the deadliest church bombing in the country, Bishop Joseph Coats sent a note to an Italian association named Aid to Churches in Need, stating that Pakistan "is one of the most difficult countries to live in for Christians."
"The daily lives of religious minorities in Pakistan are characterized by poverty, injustice and discrimination. Non-Muslims are identified as second-class citizens in school textbooks. Teachers repeatedly ask students to write essays titled: write a letter to your friend encouraging him to convert to Islam," according to the Italian AKI agency. more >>
The deadliest attack on Christians ever on Pakistani soil that left 83 people dead on Sunday has been condemned by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which warned that words will not be enough to stop the violence against religious minorities in the Islamic nation.
"Mere words will not do. The government of Newaz Sharif must take robust measures to end violence against Christians and other religious minorities and the cycle of impunity that plagues Pakistan. Arrests and prosecutions will send a powerful message that the government takes seriously its responsibility to protect citizens of all faiths," USCIRF chairman Robert George said in a statement.
Two suicide blasts on Sunday left 83 people dead and over 150 wounded at the All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. The attack occurred when over 400 worshipers were leaving church services, with a faction of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claiming responsibility. more >>
Pakistani Christians have expressed grief and outrage on Monday, holding protests as well as prayer vigils in response to the shocking weekend church bombings that killed 85 worshippers at a church service on Sunday. The reaction has come as further details emerge about the bombings, which have confirmed that Taliban Islamic terrorists packed their bombs with metal ball bearings to maximize the bloodshed and death toll in their suicide bombings in Peshawar, now believed to be the largest in the country's history directed at its Christian population.
In Peshawar, mourners viscerally reacted as they took in just how many casualties the bomb had caused.
"Some broke down on the spot, seeing the long line of coffins, the hundreds of women sitting beside them, clutching them and sobbing, the men hugging and crying, their children looking bewildered," described the BBC's Aleem Maqbool. more >>
A large church bombing in Pakistan has killed 81 after a pair of Taliban suicide bombers entered the church and detonated explosives during worship at an historic church in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, in what is being called the worst ever attack against the country's Christian minority.
Christians in the country have been left outraged and have accused the government of not doing enough to stop the violence directed towards them. They have been joined by some Muslim groups who are also protesting at the lack of protection from authorities to those wanting to worship safely.
The latest church attack occurred during the end of a worship service at the 19th-century All Saints Church in Peshawar, police chief Mohammad Ali Babakhel told local publication Dawn. more >>
At least 81 Christians attending Sunday worship service in their historic church were killed and 131 others were wounded after two Taliban suicide bombers stormed the building in northwest Pakistan. The victims of what is being called the deadliest-ever attack on Christians include 37 women.
Blood, body parts and pages from the Bible could be seen at the church after the attack, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper said, calling it "the deadliest ever (attack) targeting Christians in Pakistan."
About 400 worshippers were exchanging greetings after the service at the 130-year-old All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar when the two bombers, each carrying about 6kg (13 pounds) of explosives, launched the attack. The walls were pockmarked with ball bearings that had been packed into the bombs to cause maximum carnage in the busy church, the newspaper said. more >>
A Christian woman in Pakistan has claimed that she was handed a death sentence simply because she was "thirsty." The mother of five, who is currently in prison on death row, was sentenced to death by hanging in 2009 after being accused of blasphemy – a charge she adamantly denies. She has now released her memoir, "Blasphemy," from prison where she tells her shocking side of the story.
Asia Bibi's case has gained widespread international media attention since she was arrested four years ago on blasphemy charges while working as a fruit-picker in the northeastern area of Pakistan. Bibi co-wrote Blasphemy with French television journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet. The book details her struggles as a Christian in a predominately Muslim land, including her arrest and sentencing to death. Although the book was released in France in 2011, media outlets have recently released excerpts from the book to keep the memory of Bibi's hardship alive, and a new wave of media attention has been drawn to Bibi's case.
Bibi's imprisonment began shortly after July 2009; she was picking fruit in the northeastern area of Pakistan to make extra income for her husband and five children when her life changed forever. Temperatures in the fruit field reached above a sweltering 100 degrees, and Bibi, parched, chose to drink out of the communal well shared with other female-fruit pickers, all of whom were Muslim. The Muslim women objected to Bibi, a Christian, drinking out of the same metal cup as them, arguing that it was "haram," or the Islamic term for anything forbidden by God. more >>