Pakistan Church condemns violence against minorities

The National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference releases a statement after the death of a Christian in a brutal attack.

The Catholic Church of Pakistan has denounced the religious discrimination and intolerance against the country’s minorities that go on even amid the hardships of Covid-19 pandemic and its restrictions.

The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (PCBC) announced a statement to show its concern and sent a copy of the statement to the Vatican’s Fides news agency.

NCJP – “violation of human rights”

A joint statement by NCJP chairman, national director Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf, executive director Cecil Chaudhry, and Archbishop Joseph Arshad Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi called on law enforcement agencies to do anything possible to bring the culprit to justice.  The NCJP called it a “clear violation of human rights” and said that it is an act against the law which cannot go unpunished. 

Police arrested some members of Salman Khan’s family who are thought to be behind the murder.

The NCJP urged protection for Nadeem’s family that is facing difficulty and danger of reprisal.

Intolerance and discrimination continue

The Commission of Pakistan’s Catholic bishops showed regret that society has become intolerant and life has become more and more difficult for minority communities.

The NCJP noted many cases go unreported, saying that religious minorities keeps facing discrimination as part of their daily lives. For example, it cited the denial of relief material and food aid to non-Muslims during the lockdown and the lack of safety equipment to health workers who are fighting the pandemic. 

Moreover, the Commission pointed to the recent episode in Islamabad in which some extremist Muslims destroyed the building of a Hindu temple.  Fr. Yousaf said that the incident reflects the lack of acceptance of religious minorities who have been a part of the country. He added such acts go against Article 20 of the Constitution, which allows religious minorities to manage their own religious institutions and profess their faith.