01/25/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – New research by the Catholic Church in Pakistan has found that almost 200 Christians face charges under the country’s notorious blasphemy laws. Those accused face punishments as serious as execution or life imprisonment.
Research by Fr. James Channon, a Catholic priest, from the Peace Centre in Lahore, found that there are currently 187 Christians accused under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need, Fr. Channon said, “The blasphemy laws destroy the lives of those who have been accused, even if they avoid being executed.”
“Any time Christians are accused of supposed blasphemy, all Christians in the region are indicted with them,” Fr. Channon further explained to Aid to the Church in Need. “This often leads to acts of violence against Christians.”
Many human rights observers have noted that most blasphemy accusations in Pakistan are false. False accusations are often used to setter personal scores or incite hatred against minority communities. Will this new research help lead new efforts to reform Pakistan’s blasphemy laws?