Report exposes rising Christian persecution in Pakistan


Compounding the community’s apprehensions are threatening videos released by Islamic groups following the incident, exacerbating fears among the Christian community…reports Asian Lite News

Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) has published a detailed fact-finding report uncovering disturbing incidents of religious persecution against Christians, particularly in Sargodha.

HRFP is a group that raises the voices of minorities, women, and marginalized communities in Pakistan.

This comes in the wake of a mob attack last month, where Nazir Masih’s family was attacked on the accusations of blasphemy. The incident unfolded on May 25 in Sargodha’s Mujahid Colony, where Nazir and other Christians were accused of blasphemy, sparking violent outrage among locals.

After fighting for his life for eight days, Masih succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.

The incident showed a troubling pattern in Pakistan where blasphemy accusations lead to violence against Christian communities.

HRFP has expressed deep concern over the swift post-arrest bail granted to 52 attackers involved in the Sargodha incident.

Despite the First Information Report (FIR) being filed against 44 identified and 400 unidentified suspects under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 and Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), progress in police investigations and court proceedings has been slow and inadequate.

Compounding the community’s apprehensions are threatening videos released by Islamic groups following the incident, exacerbating fears among the Christian community.

Drawing parallels with the August 16, 2023, attack in Jaranwala, the HRFP report highlighted similar incidents of mob violence and property destruction against minorities. It underscores a recurring pattern involving provocation, and subsequent violence, often followed by the expedient release of perpetrators.

HRFP has called for decisive action, citing intelligence reports linking extremist groups to multiple blasphemy allegations. The organization has also urged stringent measures to address these threats.

The report also documented individual cases of violence and harassment against Christians across Pakistan.

Farooq Masih’s family in Jaranwala continues to face threats. Despite the FIR filed in February, the perpetrators are still at large.

Similarly, the case of Saima Bibi, who suffered an assault in April, was downplayed as an ‘accident’ despite clear evidence of the attack.

The plight of Rawal Masih, Romeo Masih, Waqas Masih, Rakhsana Bibi, Asifa Bibi, Shazia Zaulfiqar, and Ahsan Masih, who all were abducted and murdered, also underscores the ongoing oppression faced by Pakistani Christians.

Naveed Walter, president of HRFP, emphasized the “dire circumstances” for minorities in Pakistan and urged increased protection and support for the Christian community. He called for an end to the misuse of blasphemy accusations and fabricated justifications for violence, stressing the need for systemic reforms to ensure minority safety.

The HRFP report underscores the urgent situation faced by Christians in Pakistan and advocates for international and local intervention to uphold human rights and justice. (ANI)

ALSO READ-Inflation Eases in May: Expert Takes

[mc4wp_form id=""]