Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pakistan: MEP Criticises Escalation of Religious Animosity Toward the Christian Minority in Pakistan

In his capacity as Vice President of the European Parliament's delegation on relations with South Asia, Christian Democratic MEP Thomas Mann has criticised religious animosity toward the Christian minority in Pakistan.

Recent manifestations of the government's anti-Christian stance include the death sentence imposed against Ms. Asia Bibi and the charge of blasphemy against the Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, who was recently murdered.

In Pakistan Christians account for around 2% of the population, yet 50% of those accused of blasphemy are Christians. In 2009, 6 Christians were burned alive when extremists attacked their houses in the village of Goira in Punjab. Since the murder of Governor Taseer, many Christians in Pakistan report feeling isolated. This is a sad situation that clearly contradicts the desire of Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. He promoted religious freedom and tolerance.

Source: Office of MEP Thomas Mann