Silent protest held outside UN over persecution of Christians in Pak

Geneva [Switzerland], June 21 (ANI): A silent demonstration was held on Saturday in front of the United Nations Office in Geneva alongside Broken Chair to raise a voice in solidarity to eradicate the malicious blasphemy law and forced conversions in Pakistan.

The ongoing mistreatment of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan is an issue of immense importance that nevertheless still receives scant attention from the UN or international human rights organisations.

Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan have been treated as second-class citizens, their constitution legally bars religious minorities from high government offices.

The country's Christian community continues to suffer discrimination, intolerance and instances of outright persecution.

Religious places like churches have become an easy target for Christian persecution. According to the protesters, Christians, Hindus and other religious minorities in the Islamic Republic are routinely subjected to multiple forms of discrimination and harassment.

In 2020, Pakistan has ranked fifth on the Open Doors USA World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith.

A 22-year-old Pakistani Christian, was severely tortured by a Muslim landlord in Pakistan's Kasur District because he used the landlord's tube-well to bathe. Three days later, he died due to the severity of his injuries.

Abduction, sexual assault, forced marriage, and forced conversion has also continued to negatively affect Pakistan's Christian community.

The country's anti-blasphemy laws are disproportionately applied against the Christian minority--making it difficult and dangerous to live out one's faith in public.

The message conveyed through the demonstration was loud and clear.

It urged United Nations, which is currently holding 43rd session of Human Rights Council, to pray for protection of Christian women and girls who are often raped and then forcefully married to Muslim men in the community; pray for Christians accused under blasphemy laws will not have to face violence; pray that the Pakistani government passes laws that will protect the Christians and other religious minorities in the country. (ANI)