Pakistan: Christians Face Mounting Discrimination in Schools

January 7, 2019

Pakistan is home to over two million Christians, including a small and courageous community of Orthodox Christians, under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia. Here again we see the persecution of Christians initiated not by individuals or small groups, but by authorities who should be offering equal rights, protection and opportunities to all citizens.

Please pray that our beloved Orthodox brothers and sisters of Pakistan and all the Christians in that nation would be granted the light of religious freedom and relief from those who blaspheme the name of God with anger, violence, and hatred.

“Christians Face Mounting Discrimination in Pakistan’s Schools,” International Christian Concern, January 7, 2019:

Discrimination on religious grounds is very common in Pakistan. Christians and other minorities face discrimination in many facets throughout the country. Educational institutions are no exception. This has caused discrimination against both Christian students and teachers in Pakistan’s schools to become almost common practice.

Recently, in October 2018, a Christian 4th grade student named Sharjeel Masih was beaten and suspended from his government primary school in the Attock District for touching the school’s water tap. According to the headmistress, Sharjeel had fouled the school’s tap water by being a Christian and merely touching it.

“I was just trying to turn off a running tap when the teacher grabbed me, called me churha (a derogatory term used for Christians) and asked why I had touched the tap and made it filthy. ‘This tap is not from the country of your mother,’ she said before abusing me. I had to sit outside the school for five hours,” Sharjeel told UCA News in an interview.

Following the assault, Sharjeel was suspended from school.

The next day, Sharjeel and his mother returned to the school to apologize for any mistake he had committed. “She [Nusrat Shaheen] asked me to grab her feet for the mistake of my son and threatened that her brother, a police officer, would sell my younger daughter to a brothel,” Farzana Ejaz, Sharjeel’s mother, told UCA News.

The incident was reported to Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, who took immediate action and had Nusrat Shaheen suspended. Mazari also tweeted that the case involved “horrific discrimination” against a child and that “even one such case is one too many.”

Later, in November 2018, Ishrat Saba, a young Christian teacher, was sexually harassed and beaten by her Muslim headmaster at a government school in Phool Nagar, located in the Kasur District. This incident began when Saba was called to her headmaster’s office for a new job assignment. When she arrived, however, her headmaster forced her to watch a lewd video on his mobile phone.

Saba shouted at him and submitted a complaint against the headmaster to the authorities. Shortly thereafter, Saba was threatened and beaten by her headmaster who sought to pressure her into withdrawing the complaint.

“Discrimination against both Christian students and teachers in Pakistan’s schools [has] become almost common practice.”…