Pakistan: Hundreds of Christian Families Flee Neighborhood Following Threats of Violence

December 28, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Pakistan: That nation’s draconian blasphemy laws are frequently manipulated and misused in order to victimize Christians and other religious minorities, and leave them with no recourse. Christians in Pakistan are targeted with accusations of blasphemy that are often just a cover for attempts to settle personal grudges, appropriate their property, or achieve some other end. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been used to victimize innumerable innocent people, both Christian and non-Christian. Often this happens with the approval of the relevant authorities.

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, calls upon the international human rights community to bring pressure upon the government of Pakistan to repeal these unjust laws, and allow the Christians of the nation to practice their faith in peace and live in peace.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“Hundreds of Pakistani Christian Families Flee Neighborhood Following Threats of Violence,” International Christian Concern, December 27, 2020:

12/27/2020 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that hundreds of Pakistani Christian families from Charar, a neighborhood in Lahore, have fled their homes after a mob of Muslims threatened to set fire to their neighborhood. Local sources report that the mob threatened the Christians after a faith-based social media post was published by a local pastor.

“Pastor Raja Waris published a faith-based post on Facebook on December 22, which Muslims claim hurt their religious sentiments,” Saleem Khokhar, a displaced Christian from Charar, told ICC. “The pastor apologized for the post and the issue was resolved the next day.”

To date, no blasphemy charges have been filed against Pastor Waris for the offending social media post. However, Pastor Waris and his family have gone into hiding due to threats issued against them by local extremists. Even though the issue of the social media post has been resolved, a mob of hundreds of Muslims continues to protest against the Christians of Charar. According to locals, the mob has demanded that Pastor Waris be beheaded for publishing the offending post.

“The situation turned dangerous when someone found out the Muslims were planning to set fire to the houses of Christians,” Khokhar told ICC. “This forced the Christians to flee the neighborhood.”

Police have been deployed to Charar to keep the mob’s protests from turning violent. Despite the police presence, many Christians have stayed away from the neighborhood and sought shelter with friends and relatives.

“This is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration,” Khokhar told ICC. “But we are out of our homes and begging our relatives and friends to protect and feed us. None of us are feeling good about this situation.”…