Hundreds of Pakistani Christians have fled Islamabad following blasphemy accusations against a young Christian girl (who may have Downs Syndrome). While some have returned home, CBS reports, many Pakistani Christians are still living in a state of fear and uncertainty:
. . . Nooran Bashir, who had fled a few hours after the girl’s arrest, was back in her home Monday.“I don’t know whether she burned pages of some holy book or not, but we all had to abruptly leave our homes to save our lives,” she said. She said one of her sons came back with her, but her other children were too frightened and she sent them to relatives.She said Muslims asked the Christians not to worship in their church, and if they did, to refrain from singing.
Persecution and mob violence against Pakistani Christians, sadly, is something of a “dog bites man” story, and so often fails to make the news. That doesn’t mean that their suffering should be forgotten. But Christians are far from the only religious believers persecuted by murderous, ignorant hate in Pakistan. Shia Muslims, Ahmadiyyas and Hindus also live in fear because they follow the call of conscience.This is not what Jinnah intended; it is not what generations of Muslim sages and saints would recognize as an “Islamic” Republic. One can hope and pray that the persecutors and the killers return to some kind of sanity and spiritual health; at the same time NGOs and governments around the world must do what they can to protect religious freedom and the rights of minorities whatever their faith in Pakistan, Burma and wherever they are threatened.