Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/30/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Many now face death penalty, life imprisonment.

To date, no one has been put to death under Pakistan's blasphemy law. However, the law is increasingly being used by Muslim extremists. Vigilantes frequently entrap and sometimes kill adherents of minority religions accused of blasphemy. A climate of fear has forced browbeaten judges into holding court sessions inside jails. In addition, witnesses have been prevented from coming to the defense of those on trial.

Many say that Pakistan blasphemy law unfairly target religious minorities, including Christians.

Many say that Pakistan blasphemy law unfairly target religious minorities, including Christians.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/30/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Pakistan, blasphemy, religious minorities, persecurtion


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said in its 2014 world report that "abuses are rife under [Pakistan]'s abusive blasphemy law, which is used against religious minorities, often to settle personal disputes."

Thirty-four people were charged with blasphemy last year. A government statistic says 27 were charged in 2012, according to According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. At least 16 people are currently on death row for blasphemy, while another 20 are serving life sentences, according to Human Rights Watch.

Something to wear -- over your heart --


"In the last three years we have seen a large increase in the number of cases of blasphemy," Keith Davies, head of RescueChristians says. The group is a U.S.-based charity that started operations in Pakistan four years ago.

Several Christians are reportedly waiting for travel documents to secretly leave Pakistan, while others are in jail awaiting trial and targeted for death by militant groups.

Pakistan's blasphemy law predates the founding of the country in 1947, when it seceded from India. During the 1980s, the U.S.-backed military dictator, Gen. Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq amended it to add the death penalty and single out Islam as the religion that may not be insulted, among other changes.

Pakistan is far from the only country with blasphemy laws. Blasphemy is punishable in more than 30 countries, including some with predominantly Christian populations, such as Poland and Greece.

The majority of Pakistan's 180 million people are Sunni Muslims who do not support the militants' violence or their intolerance for religious minorities. Shiite Muslims there complain that even the smallest quarrel can land them in jail on trumped-up blasphemy charges.

While some support blasphemy laws, the Pakistani version has been derided as "ambiguous" and easily distorted by militant Sunnis who want to rid the country of Shiites.

In an example of the swift and brutal changes that can be wrought by blasphemy charges here, Governor Salman Taseer was assassinated by his own guard after defending a Christian woman charged with blasphemy three years ago.

One religious minority in Pakistan under attack is the Ahmadiyya sect contends that the Mehdi or savior, who is prophesized in Islam, came about 100 years ago. This belief challenges Prophet Muhammad's position as Islam's last prophet, a basic tenet of the faith. Pakistan amended its constitution in 1974 to make it a crime for Ahmadis, as they are called, to identify themselves as Muslims.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Is all social media fake? Revealed: China owns 448,000,000 FAKE social media profiles, but why? Watch

Image of How many social network accounts are fake?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The next time you encounter an internet troll, be warned, he could be getting paid to fan the flames, or to douse your conversation. A new study our of Harvard reveals that China is using an army of 448 million fake troll accounts to influence public opinion. And China ... continue reading


Mafia-related demonic possessions cause children to froth at mouth and convulse Watch

Image of Over 80 school children in Peru are believed to be victims of demon possession (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A "mass demonic possession" has erupted at Peruvian school Elsa Perea Flores, leaving over 80 students convulsing, frothing at the mouth, fainting, and displaying erratic behavior. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The children, most of whom are between 11 and ... continue reading


Obama to Hiroshima: Will he really be welcome? Watch

Image of US President Barack Obama will be the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima (aljazeera).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to become the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima following the atomic attack August 6, 1945. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Critics worried Obama's trip was to apologize for the devastation, but according to The New York ... continue reading


Child raped by father then lashed as punishment Watch

Image of India continues to modernize itself but the shift is too slow for many (Wikipedia).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

India is famous for it's diverse culture, vibrant clothing, incredible festivals, elephant gods, elaborate gold jewelry, the Taj Mahal and spicy food. It is an amazing place for tourists to visit - but what about the natives? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - India ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO - Terrorists behead Canadian hostage, release FULL VIDEO Watch

Image of Abu Sayyaf is an ISIS affiliate in the Philippines.

By California Network

Abu Sayyaf, an affiliate of ISIS in the Philippines, has released the full video of the beheading of Canadian hostage, John Ridsdel. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The graphic video shows the brutal beheading of Canadian hostage, John Ridsdel. He was beheaded ... continue reading


China prepares long-range NUCLEAR WARHEAD in battle for South China Sea Watch

Image of China tested their DF-41 missile (globalsecurity).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

China continues to test the limits of its DF-41 long-range intercontinental ballistic missile as tensions rise between the country and the U.S. over the South China Sea. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to The Free Beacon, Pentagon officials reported the ... continue reading


God's Intervention? Baby girl incredibly survives devastating Japan earthquake Watch

Image of Rescuers discover 8-month-old baby in the rubble of a crumbled building (BBC).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Following a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, nine have been reported dead and over 800 people suffered injuries - but God ensured the safety of one blessed little girl. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to NBC News, an 8-month-old girl was sleeping peacefully when ... continue reading


No more Christmas in Nepal? Watch

Image of Nepal says no more Christmas.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nepal first recognized Christmas as a national holiday eight years ago, but the 2015 Christmas celebration will be its last. Nepali government officials announced Christmas is no longer recognized as a national holiday, prompting the Christian minority to rise together ... continue reading


'This Christian nursing home is not a place for religious activities': Christians victims of persecution Watch

Image of China destroys thousands of crucifixes to effort to eradicate Christianity (ChinaAid).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

China's government has destroyed over 1,500 crucifixes in Zhejiang province, China as part of a plan to eradicate the Christian communities. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Christianity is spreading across China, leading the communist government to grow upset over ... continue reading


We DON'T know it all! Discovery proves Silk Road reached farther than believed Watch

Image of The Silk Road ended with the arrival of sailing ships and modern transportation, but it's mystique still captures the imagination and intrigues historians who appreciate its impact on the development of modern civilization.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A well-known ancient trade network may have stretched much father than previously believed according to new evidence discovered in Nepal. Chinese-made objects in a 1,600 year-old tomb suggests the Silk Road may have extended south into Nepal. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • Christians stand your ground: Graduating class recites The Lords ...
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES Killer nanny asks judge for freedom because ...
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, May 31, 2016
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God is Good
  • St. Mechtildis: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, May 31, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Zephaniah 3:14-18,
14 Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, Israel, shout aloud! Rejoice, exult ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have faith and not be ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:39-56
39 Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could into the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 31st, 2016 Image

St. Mechtildis
May 31: Benedictine abbess and miracle worker. She was ... Read More