Archbishop of Philadelphia calls on Pakistan for greater religious freedom

Published 29 January 2020  |  
(Photo: Unsplash/Sameer Akhtari)

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia called on the prime minister of Pakistan to promote greater religious freedom in the country.

In a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the archbishop told him to work urgently to assure true religious liberty for all citizens of Pakistan, especially for members of minority faiths.

The archbishop highlighted the suffering of approximately 1.6% Christian minorities in the country.

"I believe in the honest intentions of many in the Pakistani government to assure full religious freedom for their nation. But Pakistan still does not fully protect the religious liberty of all of its citizens," the Christian leader wrote.

"Of particular worry – as I'm sure you're aware – is that Pakistani Christians are vulnerable to the misuse of the blasphemy laws and are at risk of false accusations and wrongful criminal prosecutions."

The archbishop went on saying that the "Neighbors can settle ordinary disputes by leveling a charge of blasphemy against a Christian citizen who is then arrested and jailed. Even worse, the charge of blasphemy can sometimes lead to a mob attack on the one accused, and violence against that person's family and property."

Pakistan is by far one of the worst places in the world to be a Christian and is ranked as the fifth most dangerous country for Christians by 2019 World Watch List.

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