Christian minorities

Prison Credentials: A Reflection for Easter 2017

By Christian Van Gorder

As we approach the Easter holiday it is not only time to celebrate our faith but also to honor our sisters and brothers who risk so much to stand for their faith in many nations around the world. This past week when I read about Christian churches being attacked in Egypt I had to ask myself the same question that you might have asked yourself: Would I attend a church service if attending might cost me my life or the life of one of my children? This question is not a theoretical one in many places around the world and this should give all of us a deeper sense of perspective about how precious our faith really is for all of us.

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Majority Support for Minority Rights in Pakistan

By Muhammad Akram

When it comes to rights for religious minorities, Pakistan is the focus of much international controversy, even though Pakistan’s religious minorities constitute just 3.7% of its population of about 205 million. These rights include freedom of religion, economic opportunities, political representations, and socio-identical acceptability of minorities by the Muslim majority and state. 

I have experienced that there is a Muslim voice for the protection of equal citizenship rights for religious minorities, and it is encouraging that at least a few Muslim religious leaders and other groups recognize they need to play an active role in this regard. They are involved in different ways to address the issues of religious minorities in the country.

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National Identity Versus Religious Identity in Pakistan

By Minhas Majeed Khan

The creation of Pakistan in 1947 brought hopes not only to Muslims but also to religious minorities. The founding father, Quaid–e–Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, envisioned a state that represents all communities in policy making. For Jinnah the spirit of nationhood [National Identity] was to live in unity, that is, each individual ceasing their faiths whether Hindu, Christian, Sikh or Muslim. Not in a religious sense, because that is their personal faith [Religious Identity], but in a political sense as the citizen of the state [National identity]. Unfortunately, after his death, his predecessors deviated from the ideology he defined.

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Symbolic Gestures Not Enough for Pakistan’s Minorities

By Farahnaz Ispahani

Pakistan’s treatment of its religious minorities has attracted global condemnation for years. Aware that the world sees Pakistan as insecure for religious minorities, Pakistan’s leaders are now engaging in symbolic gestures of concern for minorities after years of appealing just to majority sentiment. But positive gestures such as Muslim politicians attending Diwali celebrations alongside Hindus or showing up at Christian Christmas events has done little to abate the wave of extremism that has progressively endangered all of Pakistan’s minorities.

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Slow Train Coming – Religious Freedom and a New Democratic President

By Alberto Fernandez

A Hillary Clinton Administration promises a return to the Washington consensus of the foreign policy elite in a way that neither an Obama Administration did nor a potential Trump Administration promised. This new administration will face immediate challenges involving Russia, the Middle East, China, and the seeming unraveling of the international world order. And while international religious freedom, as a standalone objective, can match any of these priorities, it impacts and influences many of them.

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