Why are Pakistan’s Christians targeted?
Pakistan’s Christians like other religious minorities in the country have been the target.
The attacks on their residential areas and places of worship have mostly been motivated by the country’s controversial blasphemy laws.
why it is being targeted?
Pakistan is overwhelmingly Muslim but Christians and Hindus make up the largest minority groups with each representing about 1.6% of the population. Karachi has a large Christian population, as do the cities of Lahore and Faisalabad.
Why are they being attacked? Recent attacks include
- An attack on a church in Quetta in December 2017 that killed nine people and injured 57
- A suicide attack targeting Christians celebrating Easter at a Lahore playground in March 2016 left 70 dead and more than 340 wounded
- Two bomb blasts at churches in Lahore in March 2015 killed 14 and hurt more than 70 people
- A twin suicide bomb attack at a Peshawar church in 2013 left around 80 dead
- In 2009 nearly 40 houses and a church were burnt by a mob in Gojra town in Punjab with eight people burnt alive
- In 2005, hundreds fled their homes in Faisalabad as churches and Christian schools were set on fire by a mob, after a resident was blamed for burning pages of the Koran
The best known example is that of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman from a Punjab village who in 2010 got into an altercation with some Muslim women and was later accused by them of having blasphemed. The then governor of Punjab who stated that Pakistan’s strict blasphemy law had been abused in the case, was later murdered by his Islamist bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri.Qadri was found guilty and executed in February 2016, prompting mass protests.Pakistan’s minister for minority affairs and a Christian leader, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated in 2011 by the Taliban for speaking out against the law.
How you can help support Christians in Pakistan
The most powerful thing you can do is ask God to bring peace and security to Pakistan, to keep Christians and Muslims alike safe in their daily lives and reassure them of his purpose in living in such a difficult part of the world.