Church leadership and Christian lawmakers to meet in Islamabad to assess the Christian marriage and Divorce bill, 2016. Representatives of all churches will join Christian MNA’s and MPA’s to reach a consensus over the bill. In a meeting on August 10, the drafted bill will come under discussion. This meeting will be held under the auspices of Ministry of Human Rights.
Since the bill has been drafted, bishops and pastors from various denominations and churches have thus far not reached a consensus. As a result of the controversy surrounding the bill Law Minister Zahid Hamid has invited Christian leadership for a process of discussion over the bill. The ministry for Human Rights stated that the Christian Marriage Act, 1872 and Christian Divorce Act, 1869 was outdated in present-day circumstances, while there is a need to introduce amendments.
While remarking in this regard, Bishop Nasir Samuel, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Churches in Lahore, said that according to the Biblical teachings, no grounds of divorce other than those prescribed in the Bible need sanction. “I will definitely oppose the draft in the meeting, as to support divorce is to challenge the Bible which is unacceptable,” said Bishop Samuel. He said that no one enjoys the right to amend the law.
Former Bishop of Lahore Dr. Alxander John Malik, said that the Ministry of Human Rights for not consulting “genuine bishops and pastors.” Christian MNA Asiya Nasir, JUIF, said that despite several meeting and discussions Christian leadership has not reached a consensus on the issue. She said that in the light of Biblical perspective there’s no room for divorce. PML-N’s Christian lawmaker Khalil George, was of the opinion that this is a sensitive issue and would be able to convey his opinion in the meeting, following by his consultation with the clergymen.