Human Rights activists in the United States are calling on Congress and our government to act now to protect Christians being persecuted around the world. Activists are pointing in particular to the Muslim nation of Pakistan, as we are currently in the midst of seeing a startling spike in crimes against Christians within the 97% Islamic nation.
Tiffany Barrans of the American Center for Law & Justice told Fox News that “Pakistan is on record as having one of the world’s worst and most widely abused blasphemy laws, which has resulted in abuse of the law through false accusations that prosper under a system of impunity. Blasphemy accusations have resulted not only in the destruction of the lives of the accused but have often been at the root of the destruction of entire Christian communities.”
The State Department’s official report on the matter is called the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Report, and it details some very startling and worrisome facts about the Pakistani government’s posture towards protecting religious minorities. The report mentions that the government “did not afford equal protection to members of majority and minority religious groups, and due to discriminatory legislation, minorities often were afraid to profess freely their religious beliefs. Media and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) reported killings of religious minorities by police.
The government’s general failure to investigate, arrest, or prosecute those responsible for societal abuses promoted an environment of impunity that fostered intolerance and acts of violence,” the report said. “In numerous cases during the year, authorities failed to protect victims of religiously motivated mob violence.”
Reading this report and coupling it with recent events in Pakistan must force us to reconsider our relationship with the Pakistani government, a nation which receives hundreds of millions dollars from the US taxpayers. Fox News details just a few of the recent publicized attacks against Christians in Pakistan.
* The gang rape last month of a deaf Christian woman inside her home in the Kasur district of Punjab. Three Muslim men reportedly entered the home, while other male family members were at work, and attacked the woman who screamed for mercy. One suspect, Muhammad Umar, was reportedly arrested, while the other two men remain at large.
The woman’s family hired Christian lawyer, Sardar Mushtaq Gill, who runs an advocacy group that offers free legal assistance to Pakistani Christians and other minorities persecuted for their religion. Gill told Fides news agency that it is difficult to prosecute such cases in Pakistan, saying, “Often in these cases the police take no action or, worse, side with the rapists.”
* In October, a Christian bride-to-be, Nabila Bibi, was abducted by a Muslim man in Pakistan and forcibly converted to Islam. In May, a mob of Muslims burned Christian homes and a church and threatened to kill people after a mentally ill man was accused of burning pages of the Koran in one Pakistani town.
* Last year, a young, pregnant Christian woman and her Christian husband were burned to death by a Muslim mob in the Punjab province for committing blasphemy.
Commenting on the fact that Pakistan receives millions in federal aid, Barrans argues that the US Government should apply political pressure to ensure more is done to protect Christians abroad.
“As a country that receives considerable aid from the United States, blame for the continued failure to protect religious minorities in Pakistan lies both on the Pakistani Government and the U.S. Government.
Our foreign policy toward Pakistan has failed in the most basic form – to utilize the leverage of aid to ensure protection for the persecuted minorities,” she noted. “As the world faces the largest refugee migration in history, many of who flee from religious persecution, the United States would be wise to pressure Pakistan and other governments through conditional benchmarks in our aid packages. A failure to do otherwise is unacceptable and reflects a squandering of a very valuable tool in the U.S. toolbox against extremism.”
Barrans and other human rights activists are 100% correct — our government should not be in the business of financing nations that persecute Christians (or anyone else for that matter). The United States is in a unique position as a majority “Christian” nation who provides a free and safe haven for religious practice. We also happen to hold a major “trump” card, in that many of the most egregiously anti-Christian countries around the world rely on us for goods, services and money. What good is our influence if we do not use it to protect millions of innocent people?
The heart of the matter is this…
The United States should demand the free exercise of religion and the safety of all people (particularly Christians) as a condition of providing monetary support to other nations. So, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Libya and any other nation where Christians live in fear for their safety should be put on notice. Either protect your poor, disenfranchised minorities, or you won’t see another red cent from the American taxpayers.
Rand Paul puts it perfectly when he says “Not one dime should go to countries that persecute women or Christians.”
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com