08/08/2009, 00.00
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India, Christian leaders: Pakistan must abolish the blasphemy law

In a letter addressed to Pakistani President Zardari, Indian Christians seek punishment for those responsible for violence in Korian and Gojra. They claim that the charges the Koran was desecrated are used as an excuse to "attack the minorities", while the mullahs "foment hatred and violence."

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The abolishment of the law on blasphemy and punishment for those responsible for anti-Christian violence in Gojra and Korian in Pakistan. These were the requests made yesterday by Christian leaders in India, during a peaceful demonstration opposite the headquarters of the Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi. They also sent a letter to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, in which they stress that "accusations of the desecration of the Koran" a increasingly being used as a "pretext" to justify religious persecution.

The demonstration, which saw the participation of Catholics, Protestants, evangelicals, Pentecostals and other Christian denominations, was launched by the National United Christian Forum, Global Council of Indian Christians and All India Christian Council. Solidarity with the Christian community was also expressed by Asghar Ali Engineer, a leading figure in the world Muslim Indian, who joined the protest.

In the letter addressed to Pakistani President Zardari, the Christian leaders state that "India has been victim of similar violence, but there's nothing “random about violence against religious minorities”. They add that "charges of blasphemy and desecration of the Koran, have now become routine against the community [Christian]", while the mullahs (the experts of Islamic law, ed) "foment hatred and violence" during prayers.

"There is proof - reads the letter - that the attacks on Korian and Gojra were planned and instigated by people from Islamic outlawed groups. These groups are bent on a sort of religious cleansing. " This is why the Christian community in India "is united with the people of peace and goodwill throughout the world" in supporting the requests put forward by Pakistani civil society and minorities, especially Christians, for strong action by Federal and Provincial authorities to bring the guilty to book and to create an environment of peace in which the religious minorities can regain their confidence”.

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