Religious discrimination in Pakistan magnified by coronavirus

Source:               www.MNNonline.org

Date:                    April 24, 2020

 

Pakistan (MNN) — Hindus and Christians have been passed over for food distributions in Pakistan, but this stems from a cultural attitude of religious discrimination.

We reported yesterday on the statement from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom that Christians and Hindus were being overlooked for emergency food distribution.

Daniel* from Operation Mobilization says Pakistan has been locked down since the middle of March These measures have slowed the virus. However, Christians, most of whom work low-income jobs, are suffering as a result of the lockdown.


This is a common site of forced conversions in Pakistan. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Daniel confirms reports saying some Muslims have not been distributing food to Hindus or Christians. This negligence has already seen tragic results.

This happens all the time, Daniel says. “It’s a normal practice, [what] Muslims do with the Christians or Hindus . . . Discrimination is very much common. And it is just another addition to whatever was happening to the Christians or Hindus in Pakistan.” Many Christians are even denied jobs because of their religion.

Religious discrimination in Pakistan is normal, and the extraordinary circumstances only aggravate it.

As we reported yesterday, the church has stepped up to meet the needs of its own people. Daniel says, “There are many Christian organizations, and a [few] churches as well, who are coming forward and supporting Christians in Pakistan, and even extending help to the Muslims and Hindus.”

Operation Mobilization’s response


Pray for the Christian Church in Pakistan. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Daniel says Operation Mobilization has primarily responded by raising awareness of the virus among illiterate people. “For them, it is very challenging to understand why they need to do social distancing. Or why they need to keep washing their hands. We started a campaign [to provide] awareness and hygiene kits. [These] include sanitizers or soaps, so that people can have access to these resources and they can wash their hands.”

Daniel says they also work over digital media to encourage these people and build a vibrant community filled with the love of Christ.

Pray that the coronavirus will be stopped, whether by effective medication, vaccine, or a different solution. Pray also that Pakistani people remain healthy.

Daniel asks Christians to, “Support organizations or churches who are on the frontline, providing relief to these families by food, cash grants, or hygiene kits.”

And pray that Pakistan would change, no longer being a place of religious discrimination.

*name changed for security purposes

Christians face constant persecution in Pakistan. (Photo courtesy of Operation Mobilization on Facebook)

 

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