» 08/04/2009, 00.00
Blasphemy laws, a pretext to attack Pakistan’s religious minorities
The official death toll in the Gojra massacre now stands at eight. A 35-year-old man succumbs last night to injuries he sustained during the attack by Muslim fundamentalists. Rights activists and minority leaders believe the government condones such attacks by tolerating laws that punish offences against Islam. The Catholic Church of India and Geneva-based World Council of Churches express their solidarity with fellow Christians in Pakistan.
Anti-Christian attacks “premeditated”, says archbishop of Lahore
Mgr Saldanha calls for more decisive government action to protect the Christian minority, forced to “defend itself alone”. He launches an appeal “to protect the Christians of Pakistan.” Christian leaders shut down all Christian schools and institutions to protest the violence. The Pope sends a telegram for the victims.
Gojra: Muslim leaders make false accusations, Christians demand justice
A Muslim association blames three Catholic priests and a layman for the violence in Gojra. The Punjab government stops paying out the compensation it had initially allocated for victims. The Christian community wants the blasphemy law repealed and the guilty punished.
Christian leaders urge Pakistan president to repeal blasphemy law
The Christian community has called a protest strike on 17 November in the wake of violence and destruction of churches and Christian places in Sangla Hill. The public security forces are under fire for their alleged inefficiency.
Fanaticism will destroy country, Christian leaders warn Musharraf
This is the second time since the Sangla Hill attack that Christian leaders have called for the abrogation of the blasphemy law and for an end to religious fundamentalism.
Blasphemy charge against Sangla Hill Christian withdrawn
The main accuser admitted that he had made the charge on the basis of "mere suspicion". A reconciliation document has been signed by Christians and Muslims.
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