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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

No end to the suppression of Christians in Pakistan

Our Italian brother professor Mobeen Shahid from the Vatican University informed us of an attempt to ban the bible in Pakistan.  The catholic Magazine Agenzia Fides wrote on the subject:

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - The radical Islamic party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and has launched a campaign asking to ban the circulation of the Bible, described as a "pornographic " and "blasphemous book". This is a new attack against the Christian community in Pakistan, frightened by the attacks and threats suffered after the death of Bin Laden, already under attack due to the damaging effects of the blasphemy law, with the consequence of death penalty to those who insult the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad. The radical group Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, with its headquarters in Karachi, launched the campaign at a public conference. According to the group's leader, Abdul Rauf Farooqi, some passages of the Bible describe characters that Muslims regard as prophets as being "vicious and immoral".
"It is a move that could fuel religious hatred against Christians. It is a threat to peaceful coexistence, an attack on the heart of our faith", says a bewildered Fr. Saleh Diego to Fides, who presides over the "Justice and Peace Commission" in the Archdiocese of Karachi. "As Christians we are already very weak and subject to pressures for the unjust blasphemy law. These radical groups want to delete us entirely. Sure, they are only minority groups, and we hope for the rise of voices of moderate Muslim leaders to stop this campaign of hatred " he remarks.

"Our response as Christians in Pakistan, already seen as targets, can be only to confirm the urgency of dialogue and respect for all religious symbols and sacred books of all religions. But we expect that, at an international level, a stronger and more determined answer might emerge, in order to sustain us", concludes Father Diego, calling for a mobilization of Christians and international institutions to stop the campaign against the Bible. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 03/06/2011)

This recent act is a clear attack on the freedom of Christians in Pakistan.  Reading the bible is a key aspect of our faith.  Our Bible describes the precepts of our faith and is  a God given tool towards the development of erudite Christian's - providing guidance on how to pray, live and worship.

For the courts to rule in favour of this claim would be a travesty, but stranger rulings have been made within the courts of Pakistan.  This said however, the BPCA assumes that the true purpose of this action is one focused on fomenting hatred.  We call on global Christians to pray that the malintent shown by this group comes to nothing.

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