Prime Minister David Cameron to Raise Blasphemy Laws with Pakistan President

Source:  www.assistnews.net

Date:  2014-04-17

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

LONDON (ANS) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron last week met with a number of influential Christians at his 10 Downing Street residence.

 

Wilson and Juliet Chowdhry outside 10 Downing Street after an Easter Celebration hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron.

According to a news release from the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), among them was Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA.

Chowdhry said Cameron was deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians around the world, and that he also wanted Christians to engage in more evangelism in the UK.

In a story by Robert Hutton for Bloomberg News, Cameron said,"It is the case that Christians are now the most persecuted religion around the world. We should stand up against persecution of Christians and other faith groups wherever and whenever we can."

Chowdhry said that he asked Cameron about the plight of Christians in Pakistan, specifically the country's controversial blasphemy laws. He said Cameron indicated he would be raising the issue of blasphemy laws with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussein in an upcoming visit.

Speaking in the news release Chowdhry said, "Mr. Cameron's promised efforts on behalf of the victims of Pakistan's blasphemy laws is welcome news."

He added, "However, again st this we must not underestimate the deeply entrenched support for the blasphemy laws amongst the significant portion of the Pakistani population and elite that is, shall we say, rather retrograde. We look forward to hearing what response Mr. Cameron receives."

Speaking in the news release, Chowdhry also noted the ongoing plight of one victim of the blasphemy laws, Asia Bibi, a mother of five on death row for alleged "blasphemy."

Chowdhry commented, "Her initial 'crime' was actually an act of kindness, in that she offered water to fellow agricultural laborers. (However), because, as a Christian, her touch had defiled the water for Muslims, they launched an aggressive verbal attack on her Christian faith and on Jesus, and when she defended her faith in Christ, she was accused of blasphemy."

Her appeal which was scheduled to be held on Aoril 14, has again been postponed.

Chwdhry said, "The only just sentence is to overturn this utterly unjust and barbaric verdict and release her. International pressure is a must to counter the intimidation of extremists calling for her death."

Chowdhry said to that end the group Ooberfuse, have remixed and re-released their song calling for her freedom. This is at the website http://freeasiabibi.com/home along with a plea from Asia Bibi from her prison cell.

Chowdhry said BPCA has also relaunched its original 2010 petition calling for Bibi's release, which can be found at www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/justice4asia 

"We encourage anyone of goodwill and conscience, whatever their religion or faith, to sign the petition and spread the word for others to do so," Chowdhry said. "We would also encourage respectful letters and emails to the Pakistani government, including the Consulates and other diplomatic missions in this country at this crucial time for Asia."

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