US Commission on International Religious Freedom: Denial of food to Christians in Pakistan ‘reprehensible’

April 15, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Pakistan: the USCIRF’s attention to this matter is to be applauded; generally, the ongoing mistreatment of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan receives scant attention from the UN or international human rights organizations. The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, hopes and prays that the USCIRF’s statement will lead to genuine change in Pakistan and relief for that nation’s Christians and other religious minorities. The nation’s small and courageous Orthodox Christian community is as vulnerable to this persecution as are the rest of Pakistan’s Christians.

Please pray that the Christian community in Pakistan will be able to endure this martyrdom and experience a resurrection, and that relief will come to this courageous and long-suffering Christian community.

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

“Denial of food to Hindus, Christians in Pakistan ‘reprehensible’: US government,” by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, Economic Times, April 14, 2020:

New Delhi : The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has stated that it was “troubled by reports of food aid being denied to the minority Hindus and Christians in Pakistan” following the coronavirus outbreak.

“These actions are simply reprehensible. As COVID-19 continues to spread, vulnerable communities within Pakistan are fighting hunger and to keep their families safe and healthy. Food aid must not be denied because of one’s faith,” said USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava on Monday.

The Commissioner requested the Pakistan government to “ensure that food aid from distributing organisations is shared equally” with Hindus, Christians, and other religions minorities….

USCIRF Commissioner Johnnie Moore said, “In a recent address by Prime Minister Khan (Imran Khan) to the international community, he highlighted that the challenge facing governments in the developing world is to save people from dying of hunger while also trying to halt the spread of COVID-19.””This is a monumental task laying before many countries. Prime Minister Khan’s government has the opportunity to lead the way but they must not leave religious minorities behind. Otherwise, they may add on top of it all one more crisis, created by religious discrimination and inter-communal strife.”

In its 2019 Annual Report, USCIRF had noted that Hindus and Christians in Pakistan “face continued threats to their security and are subjected to various forms of harassment and social exclusion.”Pakistan has often been criticised internationally for cracking down on the minorities in the country.