WCC concerned over forced conversions and marriages in Pakistan

By agency reporter
5 Sep 2012

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee has adopted a statement expressing concern on abductions, forced marriages and forced conversions of young women from Christian and Hindu communities in Pakistan.

The statement from the world church body's Central Committee was presented on 4 September 2012 at its meeting, which is currently taking place at the Orthodox Academy of Crete in Kolympari, Greece.

The Central Committee is the primary decision-making body of the WCC and meets every 18 months to reflect and deliberate about the present and future work of the council.

Pointing to the fear spread among the religious minority communities by radical groups in the country, the statement speaks of “a significant number of young women of religious minorities, especially Hindus and Christians who live in Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan provinces, who “face violence, including sexual assault, including rape, threats, and persecution.”

The statement calls on the Pakistan government to “ensure adequate protection mechanisms for all religious minorities in the country” and to take immediate action over the crimes and discrimination against religious minorities.

It also appeals to international civil society organisations, interfaith groups and churches to “exert continued pressure on the government of Pakistan to prevent the abductions, forced conversion to Islam and forced marriages of young women from religious minorities.”

An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* Read the statement in full: http://tinyurl.com/d7hso5r

[Ekk/3]

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