WCC calls on Pakistan to protect Christian minority from attacks

By agency reporter
August 3, 2009

World Council of Churches General Secretary, the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, has appealed to Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari to "ensure the safety and security" of Christians in the Punjab province, where three attacks against Christian communities were carried by militant Islamic groups in the last two months.

He also said that the government of Pakistan should "take necessary actions against the perpetrators".

The killing of seven Christians on 1 August 2009 in Gojra "reconfirms the fear that the government is constantly failing to protect its citizens", Dr Kobia wrote in a letter to President Zardari on 3 August.

The WCC head also expressed the concern that "blasphemy laws in Pakistan are being used as an excuse to victimize the minority Christians".

According to reports, seven people were burned alive and some forty houses belonging to Christians were torched in Gojra on 1 August. Gojra is a city located some 160 kilometres from the country's capital Lahore.

The majority of Pakistan's population of 167 million is Muslim, with Christians making up only three percent of the population.

The full text of the WCC letter to the president of Pakistan is as follows: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=7025

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.