25 May 2022 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
I want to move back to Pakistan if I am given equal citizenship rightsOne dead and another injured after shootingBrave Christian girl thwarts kidnapping attempts Christian cousins survive being shot by their neighboursPakistani Christians mark 24th anniversary of Bishop John Joseph’s deathChristian human rights activist and journalist receives death threats Christian organisation demands ban on National Single Curriculum in Pakistan Christian man kidnaped at gunpoint from outside courtThieves vandalise church in Karachi Pakistan: Police officer insulted and his job threatened because of his Christian faithFour suspects, including two teenage girls, arrested after woman murdered for alleged blasphemyPolice fail to recover two teenage Christian girls kidnapped in Karachi Pakistan: Muslim man climbs over 40 ft high church cross and starts shouting “Allahu AkbarThe role of police and judiciary is biased in cases of forced conversion, report finds Islamabad High Court sets marriage age limit at 18Election commission of Pakistan replaces word Easi with Masihi Christian woman kidnapped from Narang District SheikhupuraChristian man murdered by mob despite police presence Violent mob kills man accused of desecrating the Holy Quran in Khanewal Participatory Welfare Services hosts interfaith harmony dialogueHindu teacher sentenced to life in jail over blasphemy allegation Gunmen killed Christian priest, wound another in Peshawar, PakistanPolice shot three innocent Christian teenagers in KarachiIslamabad High Court issues notice to the government ministers on discriminatory job advertPakistani Christian mother concerned about the safety of her abducted daughterPakistan's court sentences Christian to death on blasphemy charges.Hindu temple vandalised in PakistanPakistani minorities protest against forced religious conversionRights groups urge Pakistani authorities to redefine blasphemy, and reform legislation to prevent the misuse of blasphemy laws13 people arrested for burning a disabled man aliveUS assessment of religious freedom in Pakistan is biasedChristian victim of blasphemy law acquitted after 10 years in jailA Pakistani Christian girl bravely escaped her abductors Pakistan minorities protest in Islamabad against rejection of forced conversion billLand mafia and police torture Christians in Mehran town, Karachi, to seize their land Minimum age for marriage not against Islam, court rules Pakistan’s parliamentary committee rejects anti-forced conversion billPakistan: High court rules non-Muslim children as young as 10 can convert to IslamSpecial police force created for the protection of minoritiesNGOs urge the EU to act over human rights abuses in Pakistan Husband throws hot water over the woman who converted to Islam to marry himChristian mother of four kidnaped on her way to homeCross removed from Church in Pakistan during the dedication.Anti-forced conversion bill draws concern from clerics Pakistan: Another Christian woman accused of blasphemy for forwarding a text UN designates day to commemorate victims of acts of violence based on religion Two Christian girls kidnapped at gunpoint outside their house Minor Christian girl forcibly converted to Islam recovered from kidnapper and sent to shelter homeNational Assembly passes unanimous resolution condemning attack on Hindu temple Another Christian girl kidnapped and converted to IslamPakistan’s blasphemy laws equated to ethnic cleansing, conference hears Quran now a compulsory in Punjab’s schools and collegesHindu woman should be returned to her parents after alleged forced marriage, court rulesPakistan court allows 2nd marriage of Christian man in Pakistan EU calls on Pakistan to intervene in release of blasphemy accusedReligious affairs ministry says religious conversion before 18 should be allowedPakistan: Christian girl raped at schoolAnother Christian Minor Girl Sent with her Abductor by the Pakistan High CourtPakistan: Muslim Doctor forcefully converts 13-year-old Christian girl to work in kitchenPakistani Supreme Court nationalises Christian college Christian couple acquitted of blasphemy charges Pakistani court send minor Christian girl with her abductor Bill before Sindh assembly calls for all 18-year-olds to be marriedTolerant majority needs to take charge of ending religious discrimination, retired Justice says Pakistan: Christian mother of five abducted and severely abusedChristian mother concerned her abducted daughter may be sold if not recovered soon Muslim nurses took over a chapel and threatened to convert it to a mosqueEU concerned over Pakistan’s rising blasphemy casesPakistan retained as country of particular concern in USCIRF report Sindh Assembly passes resolution condemning blasphemous caricaturesImran Khan says insulting Mohammed should be same as denying HolocaustTwo Pakistani Christian nurses charged with blasphemy offencesMother of kidnapped 13-year-old accuses police of not finding her daughter Pakistan: CDA demolishes church in Islamabad during LentPakistan: Petition filed to make the death penalty the only punishment for blasphemy in the Pakistan Penal CodePakistan: Police force pastor and congregation to shut down Church Christian man granted bail after blasphemy accusations Christian Family attacked by a Muslim land grabber Protests erupt after inmate charged with blasphemyJudge issued certificate needed for religious conversion, parliamentary committee proposesPrime Minister’s aide says there is no concept of forced conversion in PakistanTwo Christians charged under blasphemy law for distributing Christian literature Sentence of 5-10 years’ jail being considered for those involved in forced conversionCommittee rejects Protection of the Rights of Religious Minorities (PRRM) Bill Pakistan: Christian staff nurse and gospel singer accused of committing blasphemy Christian father begging police to help get his daughter backChristian girl threatens to burn herself if she doesn’t get justice Pakistan: Woman kills her husband and two daughters Two Christian sisters martyred for not converting to IslamThree Christians charged with blasphemy on Christmas DayA Christian man charged with blasphemy acquitted after 11 years Pakistan rejects US designation on religious freedom blacklistMuslim man shoots Christian woman dead for refusing to marry himPoliceman told Christian father to be happy for his daughter’s conversion to Islam instead of registering a case against the kidnapper Supreme Country unhappy over reconstitution of minorities’ commissionPakistan: Christian family foil attempt to kidnap their daughter Pakistani Senate panel to hold sessions on forced conversion in SindhMuslim man wants to forcefully marry Christian girlBill for minorities rejected by senate panelAnother Pakistani Christian woman escapes her kidnapperChristian hospital cleaner accused of stealing 2.2 million rupees worth of medicinePrime Minister Imran Khan calls for rapists to be hanged publicly PML-N demands public execution of those convicted in child sex abuse cases Man calling himself Jesus charged under the blasphemy law Pakistani Christian man sentenced to death for 'blasphemous texts'Christian mother and son 11 arrested after allegedly stealing gold and cash from employer’s house Police arrest Christian man accused of blasphemyPakistani Christian leaders condemn Quran burning in Sweden Pakistan: Annual pilgrimage at national Marian shrine in Mariamabad cancelledHuman Rights Watch asks Imran Khan to amend the blasphemy law Minor marriages and their conversion is an important issue, CII chairman saysNew curriculum to be implemented next year for grade one to fiveChristian domestic servant beaten for not converting to IslamPakistani Christian mother killed by police officerYoung Christian factory worker killed by his Muslim colleagueComplaints lodged against Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed for committing blasphemyGovernor of Punjab announces opening of Mariamabad as tourist sitePakistan’s National Assembly adopts resolution for adding Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to syllabusOn National Minorities Day, President Alvi says minorities will be treated equally Pakistan National Assembly Unanimously Passes Resolution to Write Khatamun Nabiyyin With Hazrat Muhammad (SAW)Pakistani minorities mark National Minority Day with mixed feelingsPakistan’s Punjab Assembly passes resolution on Quaid’s Aug 11 speechPakistani legislators oppose bill they passed three weeks agoPakistani court sparks outrage by ruling Christian girl, 14, must stay married to alleged abductorPakistani Christian man charged with blasphemyUSCIRF outraged at courtroom killing of US citizen in Pakistan over blasphemy chargesMan accused of blasphemy In Pakistan shot dead at courtPakistan: Punjab govt asked to set minimum age of marriage for girls at 18Punjab Assembly passes bill allowing inspection of printing presses and confiscation of any publicationShould minorities leave Pakistan?Blasphemy complaint against opposition politician for saying ‘all religions are equalPakistan’s National Assembly adopts resolution for teaching Holy Quran with translation in universitiesPope 'saddened' as Hagia Sophia reverts to mosqueCouncil of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan will consider whether public funds can be used to build a Hindu templePakistani Christian man shot dead by neighbour for buying house in Muslim dominated areaIslamic seminary issues Fatwa against construction of Hindu Temple in IslamabadUniversity professor arrested under Blasphemy accusationMuslims attack a church and desecrate the Cross in PakistanChristian mother complains to Police about her daughter's abductionPakistani Minister calls for those who Blaspheme against Muhammad to beheadedHuman rights situation in Pakistan "Grealty worrisome”Pakistani Governor makes Quran teaching with translation compulsory in Punjab University

Pakistani minorities protest against forced religious conversion


On 10 December, International Human Rights Day, Pakistani minorities held protests in several cities against the ongoing forced conversion of Christian and Hindu minors to Islam. 

A huge number of people joined protests carrying placards with several slogans, with “stop the kidnapping, rape and forced conversion of Christian girls in Pakistan” dominating. 

Several Christian organisations also held seminars and press conferences regarding the issue.

Christian activists Lala Robin Daniel from Faisalabad held a press conference with Madam Tahira Anjum and several other Christian leaders, expressing his grave concern over the ongoing forced conversion of minority girls. He criticised the government and other institutions and said courts are biased.  
 
Voice for Justice (VFJ) held protests in various cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Sahiwal, Faisalabad, Vehari and Multan against the forced conversion. They shouted slogans against violent extremism and religious persecution and expressed concerns about the dismal situation of religious freedom and minority rights in Pakistan   

VFJ called for the urgent attention of the government, state institutions, and religious groups to the brunt that religious minorities face.
 
VFJ leaders demand that Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments introduce, pass and enact comprehensive laws against forced conversion.
 
Voice for Justice chairman Joseph Jansen said the imposition of the religious ideology of Muslims on Non-Muslim citizens while introducing laws and policies, is a highly discriminatory act by the government. The hiding of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government behind Islamic values to prevent legislation against forced conversion and brushing aside a pressing human rights concern as a non-issue has damaged Pakistan’s reputation, he said. 

He also raised serious concerns over the non-consideration of the Prohibition of Forced Conversions Bill, 2021 for further deliberation and amendments by the parliamentary committee, ignoring the facts on the ground as well as the judgments given by the courts of Pakistan which have declared the practice of forced conversions against the right to religious freedom. 

They have ruled that minor children lack the legal capacity to enter into marriages and to change religion on their own.
 
Ashiknaz Khokhar, a human rights activist, observed that the delay in enacting a law against forced conversions is a failure of the legislature, while the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators against their crimes under the pretence of faith conversions and marriages is the failure of the law and justice system.

Napoleon Qayyum, Executive Director of Pak Law and Justice Centre (PCLJ) said that the Pakistani courts mostly issue verdicts in favour of perpetrators who manipulate the legal procedures by presenting forged certificates of marriage and conversion, stating the girl is an adult who and marrying and converting to Islam of her own free will. Because of the pressure and threats, girls have no choice but to give such statements. But it is the responsibility of judges to make their decisions according to the law and not religious influence. 
 
Mansoor Randhawa, politician and director of VFJ Islamabad, said that forced faith conversions are grave human rights abuses which violate the religious freedom guaranteed in the constitution of Pakistan and international human rights instruments. Therefore, the government should also ensure that complaints of forced conversions are promptly investigated, the perpetrators apprehended and the victims provided access to a fair trial.
 
Bishop Johnson Robert said that a lack of legal safeguards and their implementation against child marriages and forced conversions has the result of placing female children from minority communities at higher risk of facing violence and abuse and poses a serious threat to their right to education, health, work, and religious freedom. The adverse consequences of this, he noted, extend to society at large.
 
Maisha Foundation and several other Christian organisations including Pakistan Minority Rights Council held protests against the rejection of the forcible conversion bill in front of the Press Club, Sialkot.
 
Several political, social and religious leaders including Javed Gul and journalist Emmanuel Nawab addressed the gathering and called forcible conversion a form of religious terrorism. 

Pastor Nadeem Ghauri, Elon George, Griffin Khokhar, Elias Gul Jamshed Sutra , Prof. Raj Bhatti, Dr. Gulfam and other Christian leaders demanded that the government play its role in providing protection to minority girls.
 
The Tolerance Movement of Pakistan expressed solidarity with the religious minorities, forced conversion, misuse of blasphemy laws, the brutal murder of Priya Natha Kumara in Sialkot and other issues. 
 
Samson Salamat, Chairman Tolerance Movement, while addressing the rally, offered condolences to the family of Priyantha Kumara, a Sri Lankan citizen who was killed by a mob in Sialkot on false charges of blasphemy and to the people and government of Sri Lanka and the Pakistani people for this brutal murder. 

He demanded that the killers of Par or Natha Kumara be punished in accordance with the law and that concrete steps be taken to curb provocation and killings under the guise of false blasphemy charges.
 
Samson Salamat expressed grave concern over religious discrimination and inequality with minorities, hate speech trends and the persistent conversion of Hindu and Christian teenage girls, and called on the federal and provincial governments to prevent forced conversions. 

He announced that if the government did not take serious action to stop the forcible conversion and the bill was not introduced in parliament, the scope of the protest would be widened and sit-ins and hunger strike camps would be set up across the country.