Lahore, Pakistan, Jun 28, 2011 / 23:20 pm
The Pakistan government’s plan to abolish its national Ministry for Religious Minorities risks giving a “green light” to persecution and could eliminate the legacy of slain Catholic minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, Church sources in the country say.
“We are disappointed and saddened,” a Lahore priest told Fides news agency about a proposal to split the ministry into provincial divisions. “Thus the rights of Christians will be put further into obscurity and disappear from the national political agenda. We will be even more helpless. For the fundamentalists this will be a 'green light' to new aggression, violence and persecution against Christians.”
Unless there are last-minute changes, the Pakistan government plans the move as part of a “devolution” effort that will begin July 1. The government has said the moves will provide provincial autonomy.
Other ministries involved are the health, environment, sports, food and agriculture, women’s development, and labor and manpower, the Associated Press of Pakistan reports.