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Bishop Samson Shukardin (Facebook)

A Christian man attacked in Pakistan on May 25 died in the hospital on Monday, causing a leading bishop to call for stronger protection of religious minorities in the Muslim nation. Source: Crux.

According to local observers, hundreds of Muslims took part in the mob violence in Sargodha, Pakistan, located in the Punjab province, in May. The incident began with an accusation that a Christian had defaced a Koran, the Muslim holy book, which led to an assault in which his shoemaking factory was burned to the ground.

Nazir Gill Masih, a Christian man from Sargodha in his 70s, was the man who died.

Bishop Samson Shukardin, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, said unless laws are passed making it an offence to fabricate allegations of blasphemy, Christians will never feel safe in their own country. 

Christians represent just under two percent of the country’s population of 236 million.

“It is very important that legislation is introduced whereby those found to have wrongly accused people of blasphemy are given sentences including jail terms,” the bishop told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are among the most controversial in the world, with critics charging they’re often used to harass and intimidate religious minorities. 

One oft-cited example is Asia Bibbi, an illiterate Catholic woman who spent almost a decade on death row after a charge of blasphemy in 2010 and who was eventually forced to seek refuge in Canada.

Bishop Shukardin said alleged government inaction has emboldened more people to weaponise the controversial laws against innocent minorities.

“Until the government is serious and makes laws to protect the minorities, especially the Christians who are the major minority in Punjab, the situation regarding misuse of blasphemy legislation will only get worse,” he added.

“We are not asking for anything that is against the country of Pakistan. We are simply asking for the protection of our lives and the lives of our families.”


Christian man dies from wounds received in May 25 attack in Pakistan (Crux)