New ideas, new players
By – Shamim Masih
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has arguably has become the worst place on Earth for Christian while there are others like Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Bhutan etc. other nations persecute believers, but in Pakistan the entire country has spent generations forming a world view that values the torturing of those that claim the name of Christ. In 1973; when Islam become national religion and Bhutto’ government seized Christian’s schools and replaced their teachers and curriculum. Than it was imposed that Quran is required to be read and recited in all classes at all levels. Meanwhile, it is illegal for Christian to touch or own the Quran. Now, 40 years later, Bhutto, Pakistan Peaples Party – PPP chief’s plan was successful. Literacy in Pakistan is around 50%, but literacy for Christian is less than 10%. There is only a handful of Christians who work for the government at any level. Mostly Christians are reduced to living in slums, where they are routinely either demolished or their housed frequently set ablaze. But this is not the worst of what happens to Christians here. The worst is that their children, particularly young girls are the targets of their violence. Girls are kidnapped, raped and forced to convert to Islam. Young girls that refuse to convert and marry are beaten, physically tortured and either killed or simply raped and left to die naked in the wilderness. It is unfortunate that Christians do not have access to the legal system in Pakistan. Police arrest them for any crime they are accused of and they are really only accused of one crime: blasphemy, which carries an automatic death sentences. Judges in Pakistan know that if they ever find a Christian innocent of blasphemy that the judge and his family will be murdered. In the last few years blasphemy charges against Christian have become more common. Christians are frequently falsely accused of blasphemy, arrested and their houses are seized. Judges don’t want to hear these cases, and lawyers are afraid for their lives.
Today in Pakistan, Christian’s children do not have access to read. They cannot afford high tuition fee in private schools and government school curriculum is changed according to Islam’s teachings. It is nearly impossible for Christians to get an education, and there are no jobs for them. Parents are afraid to teach their children the basics of the gospel – out of fear that their children may say something that will get them killed. In 2011 the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom completed a study of the educational structure in Pakistan. They reported that “all” of the public school teachers they interviewed taught their students that jihad was the violent struggle against infidels and that is “compulsory” for Muslims to be violent toward Christians (see pg. 16 of that report). Pakistan is a nation where nearly all – if not all – of the teachers, at every level of education, teach their children to kill Christians.
Talent, Time and Treasure:
The threat matrix for Pakistan religious minorities has changed radically and it has become a useless routine to condemn the act of violence and injustice. So we need to bring change, bringing time, and talent and treasure altogether. Let’s it take in such a way, two nation theory; we as a Christian; are totally different from Muslims. We pray in a different way, we believe in trinity, our ceremonial way is different, we believe and respect God but in a different way; they do. We respect and honor prophets but we are not too rigid and thus Muslims believe that we have insulting approach which is not true thus they consider it blasphemy. With the passage of the time, new, talented and competent young leader raised up in this arena. Albert David is one young emerging politician with his platform “Pakistan United Christian Movement – PUCM”. He has proven track record of his success in his field and ambition to bring change. Sajid Ishaq, a young social activist and politician gives the impression to teach the youth for better future. Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministry, brilliant person, companionate and is doing wonderful job in humanitarian field. Farrukh H Saif, chief of World Vision in Progress – WVIP has been rescuing the persecutors for years. Pakistan Christian Congress – PCC, a political party came in with new changes and working on unity. Tahir Naveed Chaudhry has recently formed a new political party. Naila J Dayal, chairperson Christian Progressive Movement, has been working for years. And there are so many human right activists and politicians working within their resources. The keystone for raising efficiency has to tie up in cord; often even the threat of competition spurs innovation, so allowing more players in is a win-win for all. Let’s face it, given the challenges that face Christian today in Pakistan.
Pakistan used to have a noticeable Christian presence. I urge these and others zealous for the protection of Christianity in the country. Let’s join hands together, putting our time, talent and treasure together and start join effort against this malice, injustice and discrimination in the society. I would humbly request to our religious leadership to act like Jesus gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. (Matthew 14:19). Once Jesus has blessed you and now it’s your responsibility to give to the people. Please deliver: