Pakistan: Islamic university opens Christian chapel – a first

Religious minorities in Pakistan have to declare their religion when applying for identification papers or for government jobs making them "even more vulnerable" activists say. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
For the first time ever, an Islamic university in Pakistan has opened a Christian chapel. The church of St. Mary is located in the atrium of the Agriculture University of Faisalabad, Pakistan’s third-most populous city, and was built following an initiative of the city’s former vicar general, reports AsiaNews. The church contributed . . . Read More

Asia Bibi central to trade deals, EU tells Pakistan

Asia Bibi central to trade deals, EU tells Pakistan
The EU’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Jan Figeľ, told Pakistani officials during a recent visit that the renewal of their export privileges to Europe depends on the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy since 2010. “The EU countries have started . . . Read More

Pakistan: Christian cleaner dies at work, leaving wife and two children

Pakistan: Christian cleaner dies at work, leaving wife and two children
A Pakistani Christian, who fell ill after inhaling poisonous gasses at work, died on Saturday (20 January) after three days on a life-support machine. Shahzad Masih, 24, who leaves a wife and two young children, worked as a sewer cleaner in the Korangi area of the southern city of Karachi, . . . Read More

Indian Christian complained of threats before he was found dead

Indian Christian complained of threats before he was found dead
The body of Rev. Gideon Periyaswamy, 43-year-old pastor of the church of Maknayeem in Adayachery village, in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state, was found hanging from the roof of his house on 20 January. Church congregation members who discovered his body described his knees bent to the floor and his . . . Read More

Adding insult to injury – Pakistani church leaders arrested, fined for ‘not putting security in place’

Bishop of Multan Leo Paul with a security inspection team outside Multan Cathedral, late Dec 2017
Pakistan intelligence agencies on Tuesday (19 December) put out an alert that major parks could be targeted by suicide bombers over Christmas in Lahore, capital of Punjab province – where the largest population of Christians resides. On Sunday (17 December), two suicide bombers attacked Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in the . . . Read More

Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy protests showcase minorities’ plight

In November there were widespread anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad and other cities in reaction to proposed changes to an election law. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Anti-blasphemy protests in Pakistan have once again highlighted the fragile position of the country’s religious minorities. Life in various parts of Pakistan virtually came to a halt on Saturday (25 November) after the police, paramilitary and other law enforcement agencies clashed with rioters in the capital, Islamabad, resulting in protests . . . Read More

What makes Pakistan’s small religious minorities so significant?

What makes Pakistan’s small religious minorities so significant?
Pakistan conducted its first census in 19 years in July. All the results have now been released, except those on religious minorities. The government has provided no explanation. On 22 November a small group of protesters, mostly Christians, gathered outside the Press Club in Lahore, the major city in Pakistan’s . . . Read More