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Stories tagged with: pakistan

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  • Pakistan added to worst religious liberty violators

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, December 12, 2018 (one month ago)

    iStock
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The United States added a single country to its list of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom but designated for the first time nine non-state organizations for their violence against people of faith.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday (Dec. 11) he had added Pakistan to the list of "countries of particular concern" (CPCs), a category reserved under federal law for governments that have committed or tolerated "systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom."

    The CPC designations -- actually made Nov. 28 by Pompeo -- also included nine of the countries named in December 2017 by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: Burma (Myanmar), China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Read More

  • World Vision among aid groups ousted from Pakistan

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, December 12, 2018 (one month ago)

    iStock
    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP) -- Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country known for persecuting religious minorities, has expelled 18 aid organizations including World Vision and other Christian groups.

    The expulsions will affect more than 11 million aid recipients in the country that suffers in healthcare and education, entailing an estimated loss of more than $130 million in annual aid, the Associated Press reported.

    World Vision worked to secure help for those it serves before it pulled out of Pakistan, the group told AP in advance of the departure. Read More

  • Pakistan may review Bibi acquittal, forbids travel

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, November 06, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from Twitter
    LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- Christian mother Asia Bibi's freedom is once again in jeopardy, just days after Pakistan's Supreme Court acquitted her of blasphemy and freed her from death row.

    The government is allowing her detractors to request a review of the Oct. 31 acquittal and are forbidding Bibi to flee the country, the Guardian reported Nov. 2. Angry mobs of thousands in several cities are demanding her death.

    While Bibi's exact location remains undisclosed, the government essentially signed Bibi's death warrant by forbidding her international travel, her supporters said. The nation was said to be paralyzed by street mobs for three days after the verdict, inciting fears of civil war. Read More

  • Asia Bibi freed, conviction overturned

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, October 31, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from AFP TV
    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP) -- Christian mother Asia Bibi was released from Pakistan's death row today (Oct. 31) after the nation's Supreme Court reversed her 2010 conviction of blasphemy.

    Religious liberty advocates globally expressed jubilation and pleas that Pakistan's military protect Bibi. Meanwhile, Muslim extremists reportedly began burning tires in the streets. Pakistan issued a heightened security alert hours in advance of the announcement, said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice.

    "There are security precautions I'm sure being taken in Pakistan," Sekulow said in a Facebook video before daybreak. "It's a complete victory. She's been in jail for almost nine years. But she now will be returned to her family." Read More

  • 'Security' only reason for Asia Bibi verdict delay

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 (3 months ago)

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP) -- Security is the only reason Pakistan's Supreme Court is delaying its ruling in an Oct. 8 appeal of Christian mother Asia Bibi's blasphemy conviction, a religious liberty expert told Baptist Press.

    "There's only one reason, security," said Shaheryar Gill, senior litigation counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). "Generally the Supreme Court announces decisions the same day. In politically high-profile cases, or in these type security cases, these are the only times when the court doesn't announce.

    "And they don't even take that long actually, but this time it seems like they're taking a little bit longer," said Gill, who checks the court's website daily for updates and is in touch with the ACLJ's office in Pakistan. Read More

  • Christian mother's life in hands of Pakistani court

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, October 09, 2018 (3 months ago)

    BP file photo.
    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP) -- Christian mother Asia Bibi only offered a Muslim coworker a drink of water. Subsequently convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 2010, Bibi awaits the result of her final court appeal heard Oct. 8.

    The coworker said Bibi's Christianity made the water ceremonially unclean, setting off a chain of false accusations related to Bibi's beliefs and backed by Muslim clerics. The Supreme Court of Pakistan heard hours of testimony before deferring a ruling in the case, with no official timeline set for a decision, according to news reports. Read More

  • Pakistan: ISIS claims attack on church

    by Morning Star News/Pakistan correspondent, posted Monday, December 18, 2017 (one year ago)

    Photo courtesy of Morning Star News
    LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- Terror struck Christians in Pakistan's Balochistan Province Sunday (Dec. 17) as four terrorists allegedly linked with the Islamic State group (ISIS) attacked a church, killing at least nine worshipers and injuring more than 50 others.

    Police and church officials told Morning Star News that four suicide attackers stormed the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in the provincial capital, Quetta, in the southwestern part of the country. Read More

  • Pakistani death sentences show blasphemy laws' threat

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, November 08, 2017 (one year ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The October death sentences for three Pakistani men demonstrate the threat of blasphemy laws in many countries to the life and liberty of Christians and other religious minorities.

    The judgments for the Pakistanis -- all members of the Ahmadi Muslim sect -- came two months after the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) issued a report that showed more than one-third of the world's countries have blasphemy laws. Most of the blasphemy laws in those 71 countries not only transgress international human rights standards but fail to fully protect freedom of expression and impose unduly severe punishments on violators, according to the report. Read More

  • 3rd Pakistani Christian teenager killed since August

    by Morning Star News/Pakistan Correspondent, posted Thursday, October 12, 2017 (one year ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- Police in Pakistan beat a 14-year-old Christian boy to death on Monday, Oct. 9, because he had gotten into a fight with a Muslim classmate who tried to bully him into renouncing his faith, Morning Star News reported Oct. 11.

    Arasalan Masih is the third Christian teenager to be killed in Pakistan since August.

    Mushtaq Masih told Morning Star News that his son, Arsalan Masih, was a student at a private center in the Punjab province village of Jhabran Mandi, located in the ... Read More

  • Year after Pakistan Easter bombing, suffering lingers

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, March 27, 2017 (one year ago)

    BP file photo.
    LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- Families are still struggling a year after a suicide bomber killed more than 70 people and injured hundreds others in an attack targeting Christians at Easter in Lahore, Pakistan, International Christian Concern (ICC) noted on the event's March 27 anniversary.

    At least 21 Christians were killed and 45 Christians injured when an Islamic State terrorist denoted a suicide vest, killing an estimated 75 people and injuring about 340 others during an evening Easter celebration in a public park. Read More