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Leaders gather in Geneva to highlight the desperate
plight of Christians being persecuted in Pakistan
Article By EEW Magazine News  // Global
Posted March 17, 2017
Protesters hold up placards demanding the release of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who has been
sentenced to death for blasphemy. (Credit: Reuters)
Christian persecution is real and many are facing dire and life-threatening circumstances around
the world, all because of their faith in Jesus Christ. But sadly, very little is being done to stop it.

This week, an event titled "Christians in Pakistan under Threat" took place on the sidelines of the
34th United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

Representatives from the Christian community in Pakistan gathered to bring the issue of disciples
of Christ being targeted for their faith, to the forefront.

Rev. James Luke, retired Captain of the Pakistani Army and Javed Baksh, expressed grave
concern about the systematic oppression. They recounted numerous instances over the last few
years when Christians were targeted and killed by Sunni extremist forces and no action was taken
by the Pakistani government to protect the Christian community.

These leaders also brought up how the blasphemy law— a legal edict that carries a potential death
sentence for anyone who insults Islam—was being abused as a tool to persecute the religious

Bakhsh, while speaking at the event, called on the Western world to put pressure on Pakistan to
stop the genocide of Christians. He emphasized that there was a need for civilized nations to take
notice of the persecution. He highlighted, as well, how institutionally, Christians in this region were
being deprived of job opportunities, economic benefits and were also facing social ostracism.

Naveed Walter, Human Rights Defender (HRD), founder and President of non-governmental
organization Human Rights Focus Pakistan, spoke at the conference. Walter, who has dedicated
his work to the promotion and protection of human rights with special focus on religious minorities,
has been working with the civil society in Pakistan to improve the condition of Christians.

While speaking, he touched upon the case of
Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was facing the
death penalty under the blasphemy law. She remains in Multan prison, Punjab, where she has been
held since 2010. Bibi is reportedly kept in an isolation wing of the prison, comprising four cells,
three of which are currently empty.

According to Walter, the human rights conditions of minorities in Pakistan was worsening, especially
because they were not given political rights, like those enjoyed by Muslims.

He stated that the only way the Pakistani government could be forced to grant minorities equal
rights was through international pressure.

Przemyslaw Czarnecki, member of the Polish Parliament was a special invitee at the event, which
was moderated by Mario Silva, Executive Director, and International Forum for Rights and Security

In his statement, Czarnecki, Parliamentarian from Poland, charged the Pakistani government of
repeatedly failing to take steps to protect the rights of Christians in the country. He stated that the
list of cases of Christian persecution in the country was endless, and even lawyers and human
rights activists who spoke on the issue of Christian rights were being targeted.

He also held Pakistan's blasphemy law as an easy tool that was used to persecute Christians. He
concluded by stating that there was a serious need for European countries to reconsider their
bilateral cooperation with Pakistan and put pressure on the country to take effective measures to
improve the condition of Christians.

Want to help end the hardship and persecution of believers around the world, and fight for them?
Help Empowering Everyday Women Ministries, Inc. continue to be a voice for the persecuted. Make
a tax deductible donation to our 501(c)(3) organization so EEW's journalists can keep on bringing
awareness to stories that matter and providing free resources.
Click here to donate. Thank you in
Copyright © 2017-2020 Empowering Everyday Women Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
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