News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Justin Welby banner.jpg
Justin Welby thumb.jpg
World News

Archbishop of Canterbury visits Pakistan where 'religious intolerance is at its peak'

by Alex Collett

The Archbishop of Canterbury is currently visiting Pakistan, where he has addressed the issue, regarding religious freedom within the country.

The Most Right Rev, Justin Welby met with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. The pair visited All Saints' Church in Peshawar, the place of worship which saw 80 people killed in a terrorist bombing in 2013. 

Welby stated that the victims 'are not forgotten.'

The whole of Pakistan is a country 'where religious minorities face many problems and challenges still today', according to spokesman for Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

Simon, (CSW)'s South Asia Deputy Team Leader said: "I think we are at a point where religious intolerance is at its peak in the country. 

"We have witnessed a sharp rise in cases of blasphemy against the majority, as well as the minority community.

"We are facing various other challenges and depravations when it comes to the religious minorities in Pakistan.

"Be it the issues of lack of equal opportunities, discrimination within institutions, even in educational institutions of poor students who are facing issues in within the education system, which sort of is not promoting tolerance and communal harmony, but rather, is dividing the nation more on the basis of faith and ethnicity and language.

"Then we see the rise in cases of forced conversions against Hindu and Christian girls that has been going up and rising very sharply. 

"That's another problem,  we see underage girls being abducted, forcibly converted and then possibly married to the abductors. 

"So, broadly there are many other challenges, but these are some of the most pressing challenges. 

"Also, when you have an environment of intolerance in a country or in a particular place, the biggest challenge that you see is the state has to enforce its rate, it has to ensure that they are the ones who are governing the country. 

"They need to take a very strong stance on such incidents, where the blasphemy laws have countlessly been misused to settle personal scores.

"Then last but not least, we see when there is a weakness of the state to address these issues. 

"We see mob justice taking place, and that is something that we have seen and I think the past three months is evidence of the lynchings that have taken place.

"Not just of Pakistanis, but of a foreign national, who was a Sri Lankan in December who got lynched, followed by the attack on two pastors from the Church of Pakistan,.

"Followed by the lynching of a Muslim man who was mentally challenged, and he was lynched by a mob. 

"So this this phenomena of mob justice is something that is very worrying very alarming. 

"It instils a lot of fear within the marginalised communities on on the protection that the state is supposed to provide to its citizens."

Simon praised Most Right Rev Justin Welby for speaking up, he said: "It's important for the international community to continuously raise this issue with the Government of Pakistan to continue that pressure, that, that, you know, which is which is not asking for something out of the ordinary it is it is a guarantee that has been enshrined within the constitution of Pakistan."

Simon wants to encourage us all to pray for Pakistan, he says: "I think, you know, the prayers are absolutely important. 

"We need to continue to pray for this, this issue of mob justice and more violence that is taking place, we need to pray for the protection of the religious minorities. 

"You know, with regards to issues of forced conversion, especially the women and young girls who are being abducted and forcibly converted, and we need to also pray that the government realises the importance of these issues and how it is damaging the entire social fabric of the country."

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email