Imprisoned Pakistan Christians facing discrimination
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pakistan’s Christians face a “particularly perilous” situation in prisons and suffer severe discrimination, a local Catholic lawyer says.

Moazzam Aslam Bhatti, who works in Faisalabad, said that Christian prisoners are disadvantaged in the distribution of food, clothing and medicine as well as in their ability to practice their religion.

“This situation must change,” he told Aid to the Church in Need.

Most Christians who face charges cannot secure lawyers because of their poverty and low social position. Increased legal need is necessary to improve the situation.

“It is alarming to note that many people jailed for minor offenses could have been released if they had been able to pay the fines imposed on them,” he added. “Those affected also include children who are compelled to stay in prison together with their mothers.”

Bhatti regularly visits Christian prisoners in Faisalabad along with the Dominican Fathers. He also provides legal aid.

Dominican Father Iftikhar Moon, who heads pastoral care for prisoners in the Diocese of Faisalabad, said that there are about 5,000 prisoners in the city. About 85 to 100 of them are Christians.

The prisoners include shopkeeper Imran Masih, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in January 2010 under the country’s blasphemy laws for allegedly burning pages of the Quran. He denies the charges.

Bhatti studied in England before returning to Pakistan to work with the disadvantaged.

“Despite receiving good job offers abroad, I returned to Pakistan in order to do whatever is in my power to help the people,” he said. “I am proud to be able to do something for the people in this part of the world where Christians are oppressed and pushed to the margins.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 22, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 1 Sam 1: 24-28
Gospel:: Lk 1: 46-56

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27