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We protest the rejection of the Minority Protection Bill for the second time by the Senate of Pakistan.
We strongly condemn the forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls in Pakistan.
We demand complete de-nationalization of Christian institutions.
We demand justice for young Christian girls forced to marry older men under the pretext of Sharia Law.
We demand complete Rule of Law in the country.
We demand equal rights for all minorities living in Pakistan.
We demand speedy justice for all citizens of Pakistan
We support joint electorate system for Christians in Pakistan based on actual population figures of Christians in different cities and provinces.

Our Challenges

Challenges of living in Pakistan

We highlight key challenges facing the Christian population as well as other minorities.  We invite our readers and community leaders to share their opinions about these issues on this platform.  We will strive to provide a global platform here to raise our voice against these challenges facing Christians of Pakistan. We hope that this global platform will become a unified voice for the Christians of Pakistan.

We offer our thanks to the activists of different Christian forums, Catholic and Protestant Bishops and their representatives, Center for Social Justice, Civil Society organizations, inter-faith groups, Human Rights Commission and all involved in their efforts to advocate for minority rights.  We will continue to seek their input and use our collective efforts in the greater interest of the Christian community in Pakistan.

Forced Conversions and Marriages

According to a 2014 study by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are abducted, forcefully married, and forcefully converted every year. Many of the victims are minors. Sexual assaults and fraudulent marriages are used by perpetrators to entrap victims and authorities are often complicit.

Among hundreds of such cases is, Arzoo Raja, a 13-year-old Christian girl from Karachi, who was allegedly abducted, forcefully married, and forcefully converted to Islam by her 44-year-old Muslim neighbor in October 2020. In 2020, Civil Society organizations noted with regret that despite the reoccurring incidence of forced conversions of Hindu and Christian girls, the federal and/or government(s) has been unable to enact anti-forced conversion legislation. Although, the Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill prohibiting forced conversions was adopted by the Sindh Assembly in 2016; it was not assented to by the Governor Sindh after pressure from the religio-political parties.

Last year on December 16 the government of Pakistan announced it is setting up a special center to examine the forced marriage and forced conversion of underage girls from the country’s minority communities.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Aide on Religious Affairs, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, in a tweet published on December 16.

A Special Coordination Center has been established to address the issues of minorities,” Ashrafi’s tweet read. “No one will be allowed to make panic in the country on the issues of forceful conversion and underage marriages.

The results and follow up actions of this Center will be observed by this platform in the coming months.

Discriminatory Laws and Social Practices

Introduction of new laws as part of the Blasphemy Law and their misuse and interpretation, certain clauses of Sharia Law and social practices such as not allowing Christians to drink from mutual utensils, always considering Christians as aligned with Israel or the Christian west has created numerous challenges for Christians resulting in loss of life and property for decades. We strongly protest against these prevailing laws and social practices and demand that recommendations by civil society organizations and minority institutions be accepted to reverse this downward trend in the country.

Denationalization of Schools and Colleges

The Bhutto government nationalized Christian schools, colleges and some hospitals in 1972 and destroyed not only the country’s education system but an important pillar of Christian’s pride, community cohesion and economic relianceThe irony is that the population most affected by this disastrous policy were Muslim students. Subsequent governments have acknowledged the disaster and returned some of the institutions but many are still not returned to the churches.

Education Curriculum

The Centre for Social Justice Study, Quality Education Vs. Fanatic Literacy has conducted detailed research on school curriculum of grade 1-X and highlights serious issues such as negative indoctrination, myths and stereotypes towards minority communities and minority religions in all textbooks. Among many recommendations, the study also recommends that content of textbooks must not question the loyalty of non-Muslim citizens towards Pakistan, rather it should eliminate exclusionary views of citizenship in Pakistan, promote national unity and patriotism, and celebrate the role of national heroes from minority communities vis-à-vis their contribution in the fields of defense, education, health, fine arts, and sports, etc.

Religious Extremism – biased role of religious institutions

Religious extremism is destroying the very fabric of Pakistani society since the Zia era and Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war.  Jihadi elements and doctrine have penetrated institutions that are responsible for law and order and policy making. These dangerous trends have destroyed inter-faith harmony that existed in the 60s of Pakistan and has resulted in a nation destroying itself from internally misguided policies.  Major victims of these trends are Christians and other minorities.

Lack of legal framework to protect the rights of the Christians and other Minorities

Christians face the brunt of extremist religious mindset and are victims of individual and mob attacks on numerous occasions. Minority rights specifically of Christians are violated as the practices are gross violation of international human rights. Various attempts to pass laws for protection of minorities have been blocked by the legislature.  Since 1990 the government of Pakistan has claimed at the UN and international bodies that it has the adequate bodies for protection of the rights of minorities. The reality is that the government introduced an administrative order to create an adhoc committee for the protection of the rights of minorities and has been quoting that as a full-fledged National Commission for the protection of minority rights. This Commission has not been functional in public and has not done anything to protect the rights of minorities.  Even when the Supreme Court passed the landmark judgement on June 19, 2014 to create a national council to protect the rights of minorities and to create a three-member bench in the Supreme Court to monitor implementation of court’s verdict, the results have been far from adequate.

Lack of Rule of Law, Lack of access to Judicial Justice

Poor governance and lack of rule of law throughout the country poses a great risk to the helpless and weak Christian community.  Police reforms have not taken place for years, judiciary is often under pressure to succumb to majority threats when deciding in cases involving Christian and Muslim parties, judges and police officials are not trained to handle sensitive human rights violations and often make decisions based on mediocre educational knowledge or fanatic religious thinking.

Electorate System

Christians and Hindus have demanded minority representation in Parliament on the basis of “dual voting rights” after expressing serious reservations on the joint electorate system, introduced by former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf in 2000.

Dual Voting Right is an electoral system through which religious minorities can elect their representatives in Parliament, similar to separate electorates, while simultaneously voting for general seat candidates.

Highlighting the joint electorate system as one based on patronage, is has been said that the joint electorate system empowers “Muslim political parties to distribute minority reserved seats in parliament in a ratio to their seats in assemblies through selection of their favoured religious minority leaders, often after taking bribes in millions of rupees”.

Some Chrisitian leaders like Meiraj Azam have advocated for dual voting right for Christians based on separate constituencies for Christians formed on the basis of their population in different cities.

Augustine Gill was born and grew up in Pakistan. He is intimately familiar with the issues facing the people of Pakistan. His forthcoming book on Christians of Pakistan will reflect on the current struggles of Christians of Pakistan.  He is not only concerned about the minorities in Pakistan but as a development professional, he is equally concerned about every child and adult man and woman living in Pakistan.

Augustine left Pakistan in 1987 for advanced studies in International Development and continued his journey to help the most vulnerable and marginalized in Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the United States. He currently lives in California and supports local non-profits while also keeping a close eye on Pakistan, international politics, and development challenges. He can be contacted at