The Archbishop of Canterbury rejected foreign office advice not to visit persecuted Christians in Pakistan over the weekend.
The family of a Pakistani man who was killed while trying to rescue his Christian daughter from a forced Islamic marriage has been given hope for justice after the men who killed him were charged over the murder by state authorities.
CHR Comment: There is progress on this sad story as authorities seem willing to act.
The attackers, wearing suicide vests and carrying firearms, exchanged fire with security forces and were killed, the statement said.
Asia Bibi, the Christian on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan, will have her final appeal against the ruling heard by the Supreme Court in the second week of October.
CHR Comment: The article includes a brief description of Bibi’s statement of faith and question that has resulted in charges of blasphemy. It also describes the belief of Pakistani Muslims that Christians are unclean and an example of how this affects social interaction.
The man is accused of sending a poem that insults Islam to a friend online.
CHR Comment: Pakistan has strict blasphemy laws. The article describes several examples of the law used against Christians, some of which may be based on false charges. However, a Muslim sect in Pakistan has suffered most from accusations of blasphemy.
A Christian woman in Pakistan was beaten and gang-raped in front of her five children by a Muslim man seeking to avenge his family’s “honor,” because the woman’s sister fell in love and fled with the man’s brother.
Police barged into the United Christian Church in Lahore, Pakistan last Sunday, and brutally attacked the lead pastor in response to a complaint about alleged noise levels from the church’s sound system.
CHR Comment: The article describes the complaint to police as falsely based and as an excuse for the police officer to disrupt the church service. The congregation reported the incident and local officials have promised action against the persecutors.
Persecution of Christians is increasing in Pakistan. According to the last portion of the article, Open Doors reported last year that Pakistan was ranked eighth most severe among those nations where persecution of Christians occurs.
Muslim villagers in a Pakistani community are helping to build a church for their Christian neighbors, seeking to show peace and solidarity in a country deeply troubled by religious persecution of minorities.
CHR Comment: Pakistani Christians have too often suffered at the hands of their Muslim neighbors. The peaceful relations in Khaksabad are encouraging to see. Hopefully efforts toward peace can multiply. The church in Khaksabad was destroyed by weather, not by violence.
The story explains that Muslims in Khaksabad behave differently and perhaps believe differently too since one of the persons interviewed expressed that Christians and Muslims have the same God. However, many Christian and Muslim leaders would not agree that they worship the same God since Christians believe that God is triune and Muslims reject the doctrine of the Trinity.
Most Pakistani Christians were converts from the untouchable castes who did menial and lower valued forms of labor. The article explains how this history still affects the lives of these Christians today.
Bishop Samuel Azariah describes how the churches in Pakistan may respond to the violence they experience by appealing to God, community, and the state. Pakistan Primate condemns attack on churches in Youhanabad.