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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Young Christian experience of discrimination in Pakistan

Yesterday an article was posted online on a new site It provides a small window onto the daily discrimination and harrassment that Christians receive in the realm of education, and also work, and something of the pressure and mental distress this causes.
The article, entitled 'Why is this discrimination' starts by quoting several verses from the bible about loving your neighbour as yourself, loving the foreigner in the midst, and several sura's from the Quran that talk about not fighting with those who don't fight the Muslims, and harmony between tribes.
Then it talks about the discrimination faced by Christian young people. It notes that in terms of jobs, although they are supposed to be on merit, especially in government, this does not happen. 'Minorities day' instituted because of the work of the martyr Minister Shabhaz Bhatti, is honoured on the day, but not in the laws to end discrimination - not in effective action. To date, it has been mere tokenism. Promotions aren't given to Christians - or at least, if they are, they are the subject of intrigues and conspiracies to 'cut them down to size'. In state schools, the Christians are treated harshly by the teachers, and loose heart - often fleeing school. At college and university they are discriminated against, and not given good grades unless they convert to Islam - leading to depression and lack of application to studies due to hopelessness.
And the discrimination is seen in the job adds in the newspapers. The lowest and dirtiest jobs are always reserved for Christians only.

This facet of discrimination is one reason why BPCA want's funding and donations to set up bursaries to support Christian children and see to it that they are dealt with fairly in the state school system, with agents on the ground to monitor what goes on in the schools.

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