Pakistani Christian: “Faith is worth preserving and defending at the cost of one’s life”

Shahid Mobeen denounces historical revenge of the radical anti-blasphemy law against minorities.

It is not easy to be a Christian in Pakistan and Shahid Mobeen knows it. He explains that since 1973, the continuous amendments to the anti-blasphemy law have made it an outlet for hatred. The law is the result of an old revenge from Muslims, who do not accept that religious minorities have progressed over the years.

SHAHID MOBEEN
Founder, Pakistani Christian Association in Italy
“The abuse that occurs as a result of this law is noted as a jealousy or social and economic envy toward religious minorities. Religious minorities are the first to suffer from this law, which permits this abuse.”

Since the law has no legal guarantees of any kind, a trial is not required to take someone to court. Moreover, sometimes the accused is killed before he or she can be tried. According to Professor Mobeen, Christians can defend themselves from
this law, if they are informed of their rights.

SHAHID MOBEEN
Founder, Pakistani Christian Association in Italy
“At the governmental level, nothing is being done to change the application of this law. However, Pakistan’s religious minorities can avoid the negative effects of this law by first sending their children to school. Education offers the possibility of avoiding the negative effects of this law, because with education minorities can understand when they are victims of this abuse.”

Unfortunately, education is a luxury that very few Pakistanis can afford. It is estimated that only 40 percent of children are enrolled. Ignorance is once again the perfect breeding ground for radicals. Nevertheless, Mobeen says that Christians have never responded in the same way. They are considered second-class citizens and are often the target of atrocious attacks, such as the one on Easter Day 2016 in Lahore.

SHAHID MOBEEN
Founder, Pakistani Christian Association in Italy
“When facing the reality of the persecuted Church, faith is important and it is worth preserving and defending, even at the cost of one’s life.”

Although a good part of the Muslims of the country willingly accept the anti-blasphemy law and its perversions, there are many others who understand the value of the coexistence. One example is the governor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer. He is a Muslim who defended Asia Bibi with his life. He was shot 26 times by his own bodyguard, whom the crowd hailed as a hero.