Awami Workers’ Party initiates a petition urging British PM, British Foreign Secretary and Pakistan Government to protect Christians of Chak 44

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Pakistan’ left-wing political party Awami Worker’s Party has initiated a petition urging the British Prime Minister- David Cameron, British Foreign Secretary- Philip Hammond and the Government of Pakistan to protect the imperiled Christians of Chak 44- a village in Mandi Bahauddin District. “No one must be allowed to persecute a community just because they belong to a different religion,” the AWP states.

Blasphemy accusations against the Pakistani Christians

While putting forward a petition, which is to be signed by the general public, the AWP has expressed solidarity with the Christian villagers of Chak 44, who are living in the face of storm. Followed by blasphemy accusations on Imran Masih a Christian resident of the village, socio- religious tensions rose between the Christians and Muslims in the area.

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While further remaking about the situation, it was explained that the “Awami Workers’ Party stands with the Christian community of Pakistan and believes that all citizens regardless of their caste, creed or religion have equal citizenship rights.” The AWP strongly condemned religious fundamentalism and sectarianism in any form what so ever, and at the same time called upon the Pakistani government and the international community to protect the Christian villagers. “It is the responsibility of the state and global community to protect all of its citizens irrespective of their faith.”

Additionally, the AWP is insisting that the culprits who have incited or broadcasted the message of anti-Christian sentiments, in the locality need to be brought to justice. “If anything happens to the already distressed Christian community, the AWP will launch a series of protests and hold the Punjab government accountable,” it was stated. The party went on to comfort the Christians and other coerced religious communities; that the party will keep striving for a Pakistan here all the citizens get equal rights irrespective of their cast, creed, race, or color.

“Join us in asking the Pakistani government to provide security and safety to the Christians of Mandi Bahauddin. We request the government of United Kingdom to urge the government of Pakistan to immediately arrest the culprits and take a stern action on this human rights issue. Religious persecution has no place in a civilised society,” the Awami Workers’ Party stated.

Muslim colleagues of Imran Masih a 23-year-old Christian was accused of watching anti-Islam sermons of Pastor Sami Samson on his mobile phone. Soon after the accusation, Imran fled and has not returned yet. As the accusation spread, Muslims of Chak 44 along with nearby villagers announced an attack on the local Christians and torching their homes. The tension continued to rise when the Christians were presented with three option; Either they convert to Islam, or they leave the village or else they hand over Imran Masih the blasphemy respondent to the local Muslims so that he could be burnt alive.