EU concerned over Pakistan’s rising blasphemy cases

The European Union has raised concern about Pakistan’s blasphemy laws which it says are often misused to discriminate against religious minorities. On Thursday the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on authorities to review Pakistan’s GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) plus status. It also called for the country to make space for religious freedom. Pakistan’s…

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Pakistan retained as country of particular concern in USCIRF report

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has retained Pakistan as a country of particular concern (CPC) in its annual report. The report recommends that the US administration pursues the reform of Pakistan’s educational textbooks, curriculum, and teacher training materials. This is to make sure the content is inclusive of and not discriminatory…

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Pakistan: CDA demolishes church in Islamabad during Lent

On Wednesday 31 March, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) demolished Emmanuel Gospel church in Musharraf colony, sector G8/4 Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. The settlement consists of about 300-400 houses and all families are Christian and poor. The Pastor in charge, Rev Naveed John George said that at about 8:45 (Pakistani time) a CDA team…

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Petition filed to make the death penalty the only punishment for blasphemy in the Pakistan Penal Code

Pakistan’s attorney general and provincial advocate general have been issued notices by the Peshawar High Court regarding a petition calling for the removal of all punishments except the death penalty for blasphemy from the country’s penal code. The notices were issued because the bench said the matters raised in the petition needed serious consideration. The…

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Christian has life sentence for blasphemy changed to death penalty

A Christian man sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of sending a blasphemous text message in 2011 has had his sentence changed to the death penalty. The Lahore High Court ruled in favour of an appeal submitted by Islamist group Khatam-e-Nabuwwat Forum (KNF, or Movement for the Finality of the Prophethood). Sajjad Masih’s appeal…

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Pakistan: Police force pastor to shut down church

Pakistani police arrested the pastor and congregation of the New life Church in Mohallah Sialkoti, Lahore, during lent worship. The arrest was made after a complaint to the local police by the Muslim residents of Mohallah Sialkoti. According to Pastor Amjad and Elder Yousaf Lal, local Muslims in the neighbourhood have been regularly threatening them…

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Christian man granted bail after blasphemy accusations

A Christian man who was convicted of committing blasphemy in 2018 has been granted bail by the court. Nabeel Masih was accused of blasphemy after sharing a picture of Kaaba in Mecca on Facebook. He was arrested in 2016, when he was just 16 years old, and convicted two years later. Masih has now been…

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