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Christian teacher told convert or die in Pakistan

by Hannah Tooley

43-year-old Musa Atique (above, left) works at Kot Radaha Kishan school in Kasur, in the east of the country.

He has worked there for seven years as a primary school teacher and gives classes on English, Urdu, Social Studies and Islam - a compulsory subject.

However reports from the country suggest that the government of Pakistan has proposed changes to the school syllabus, which now requires compulsory learning of the Quran and Islamic prayers as well.

The British Pakistani Christian Association (speaking with Mr Atique, below) says that some teachers took this opportunity to preach hatred to children about minority groups in the country, like Christians.

Mr Atique overheard two teachers using derogatory terms like "kafir", meaning infidel, and saying that Christians are supporters of Jews and spies for America.

He reported the incident to the headteacher but nothing was done.

Naveed Aziz from the BPCA speaking with Musa Atique, right

Musa Atique told the BPCA that there has been an increase in bullying of minority children since the classes began.

Details emerged in March that one Muslim teacher came into his classroom and beat up Musa Atique in front of his students, calling him names.

He was threatened with death if he continued to speak out about the language and content of Islamic classes.

Since then children have also been encouraged to shout abuse and spit at him.

Later that month the teacher told Mr Atique to convert to Islam or face being killed.

Musa Atique told the local police however he was beaten again for contacting the authorities and human excrement was found in front of his door.

Mr Atique is now seeking help from the BPCA. He said: "People were brewing a plot to lay blasphemy charges against me.

"I was being shunned by my fellow teachers but some Christians warned me of the impending blasphemy charge."

Mr Atique has now left the school and makes some money from private tutoring lessons (below).

One of Musa Atique's private tutoring sessions

Wilson Chowdhry from the BPCA said: "Life for Christians will reach an all-time low, now that the Pakistani Government has directed schools to include Quranic studies in their school assemblies and hold Islamic prayers in all schools.

"The process is easy to abuse and permits fanatical religious zealots to inculcate vulnerable young minds with their evil ideology."

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