» 11/03/2004, 00.00
Blasphemy law: death threats against teenage girl forces family to flee
Lahore (AsiaNews) The Justice and Peace Commission of Pakistan's Bishops' Conference said that a Christian family from Wah Cantt (near Islamabad) was forced to move to an undisclosed location in the country. Their daughter Safad received death threats for allegedly desecrating the Qu'ran. The Tasneem Dean family was told of "terrible consequences" on the part of Wah Cantt Muslims.
Last July, a Muslim woman accused 16-year-old Safad Tasneem Dean of throwing a copy of the Qu'ran into a trash bin. An enraged group of Muslims gathered with the intention of burning the girl's house. They tried to kill her but a group of local elders was able to save her by getting the police to arrest her.
After heated discussions between local Christians and Muslims it was decided that the girl's father would take her place in prison, but he, too, was released soon after.
Even though no evidence was presented concerning the alleged blasphemy, Safad's family was forced to move to an undisclosed location.
Adopted in 1986, Pakistan's Blasphemy law imposes life imprisonment on anyone insulting the Qu'ran and the death penalty on anyone defiling the name of Mohammed.
Minority and human rights activists have repeatedly called for the law's repeal. Very often it is used to settle matters between private individuals.
So far tens of Christians have died because of the law. Since 1986, more than 4,000 people have been accused of blasphemy. Currently, some 560 people have been charged and 30 are still waiting for a court decision. The accused have often had to move fearing for their lives and that of their families. (LF)
New cases of violence and torture against Pakistani Christians
Instead of investigating, local authorities engage in cover-ups. In some cases, international organisations ignore the plight of Christians.
Lahore Archbishop condemns the umpteenth arrest of a Christian for blasphemy
Younis Masih was imprisoned on Sunday, accused of offending Mohammed in some traditional songs. Mgr Saldanha: these episodes stand in the way of endeavours towards inter-religious dialogue
Collusion between police and extremists cause of deaths in judicial custody, Pakistani NGO says
A human rights group expresses concern over “increasing incidents of violence” against religious minorities. Fanatics enjoy impunity thanks to complicitous prison guards. The government is blamed for not prosecuting people responsible for such crimes. Police has not yet registered a first information report on the murder of a 20-year-old Christian man in Sialkot prison.
Some 20 million Christians to mark ‘black day’ against persecution in Pakistan
Activists, minority lawmakers and religious leaders are united in peaceful protest against the country’s blasphemy laws. This is their response to fundamentalist attacks and their way to get the Pakistan government to repeal the laws. Amnesty International backs the fight for minority rights in Pakistan.
Two Christians accused of blasphemy released
The Supreme Court found the men innocent after they spent seven years in prison. AsiaNews interviewed the wife of one of them: the story of the umpteenth victim of this unjust law features years of threats by Islamic fundamentalists, support from the John Joseph Foundation, and fear even after release.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
24/05/2017 CHINA- VATICAN
19/05/2017 BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.