As of late, my statement in a recent interview with Michael Coren regarding “government sponsored persecution” has been brought up in several discussions I've had with people that oppose this issue. I think it’s interesting how our choice in words can both aggravate or appease people; I am aware that the same thing can be said in more appeasing terms – but I choose not to beat around the bush when I say THERE IS GOVERNMENT SPONSORED PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN.
Stings does it?
Never have I been provided with an argument contrary to this statement, but I was told by one such fellow that this “propaganda was INTOLERABLE.” Intolerable he said – words are intolerable, persecution of Christians non-existent but there are "issues" that religious minorities face in Pakistan. It’s the most confusing assembly of thoughts in one argument I’ve come across yet.
Why are so many people so abhorrently staunch in their refusal to accept that there COULD be something wrong with the way that the Pakistan government has treated religious minorities?
Let’s play the word game then shall we?
WHAT IS GOVERNMENT SPONSORED PERSECUTION?
Unlike the widely known term of “government sponsored terrorism”, persecution has for some reason become a matter of opinion. What I consider persecution – my muslim brother and sister would call unfortunate situations brought about by social status of minorities.
Persecution as defined by Google is:
Look at these words:
Persecution = HOSTILITY (UNFRIENDLINESS, OPPOSITION, ANTAGONISM, ILL WILL), ILL-TREATMENT, HARASSMENT because of RACE/POLITICAL AFFILIATION/RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
Now that we have the words straight, the next argument everyone has is "Oh well muslims are far more persecuted than Christians." -- In a country where the majority of the population IS muslim, and they are at times targeted by the same laws that persecute Christians - you would think they would more than anyone else be AGAINST government sponsored persecution; only they're not - and many in the majority consistently fail to recognize it.
Let's give some examples here:
1. In the 1970s Christian schools and hospitals were permanently institutionalized by the government of Pakistan; one of the issues that has directly lead to the inability of the majority of Christians to have equal access to their own academic institutions.
2. Since the creation of Pakistan, government census has been unable to properly account for the POPULATION of Christians in Pakistan. It has remained consistently around the currently assumed percentage of 2.5% total population (a number nearing 4.5 million Christians). This number has been disproved by various NGOs and Church Records.
3. The Blasphemy Law. Not much needs to be said for this. By no means do I believe that Pakistan is going to become a secular nation in which laws reflect the belief that human rights are more important than religious rule -- since the unjust law IS there; and Christians DO respect it (more like fear it) - why is it that they are constantly subjected to it's punishment without proper trial or cause - AND without any action by the government to somehow amend (not even repeal) the law to ensure misuse is stopped??
4. What about unequal representation in government? Thank God for Shahbaz Bhatti and his hard work getting minorities four seats in the senate. But STILL those seats do not yet reflect representation equal to minority population - not by Pakistan's own census, and especially not by the amount of people reflected in our churches.
THAT my friends is government sponsored persecution. They fail to protect the rights of minorities to exist and practice their religions freely without prejudice - they fail to represent the minorities accurately - and they fail to create/amend religious laws to reflect the nature of their use (or misuse) against human rights.
My final word on the matter. Convince me that none of this has happened with some actual evidence, until then don't bother arguing. By the way -- God bless Canada, it's such a joy living in a place where I CAN say that, and no one can stop me.