A petition seeking removal of anti-Christian content from syllabus of schools filed in Supreme Court

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Christians in Pakistan

A petition seeking, removal of anti-Christian material from the syllabus of schools nationwide is filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The petition was filed by Peter Jacob who heads the Centre for Social Justice. The local Christian NGO, has filed this petition in order to create awareness regarding the material containing hate against Christians, found in textbooks of schools.

Peter Jacob, the petitioner said, “It is necessary to inform the Supreme Court of hate speech against religious minorities in Pakistan present in textbooks and highlight the discrimination in the education system.”

The petitioner has maintained in his petition that the provincial governments have so far failed to get rid of discriminatory and hatred containing syllabus from textbooks. Peter Jacob has urged for the development of a new and improved curriculum that will promote “a culture of religious and social tolerance in schools and universities”.

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This petition contains several examples of anti-Christian hate content in the existing school textbooks. “The existence of such prejudices challenges the religious, civil and democratic values. Students belonging to religious minorities are required to learn the religious lessons of Islam and pass examinations that may conflict with their religious beliefs on the one hand and could affect their performance in the exams. It is also a form of coercion that students belonging to religious minorities cannot study their religion under the current education system.”

Moreover, the petitioner has also called upon the Apex Court that there is an inevitable need to recognize and direct “appropriate remedies for the protection of equal rights of religious minorities in the education system.”

The petition also refers to the ruling of the Apex court on 19 June 2014; in which the Court had directed the Federal government to establish a special task force in order to come up with a strategy to create and promote religious tolerance in the country.