Christians have customarily faced persecution in times past up till now. Even today, there are some countries where being a Christian bears an elevated risk of harsh forms of persecution; despite this majority still cling to their faith.
The Gospel Herald reports about a Pakistani Christian Saba Imtiaz who talked with a Pakistani priest about the worst forms of persecution Christians are going through in Pakistan.
In keeping with what Saba told, Anthony Ibraz, a 31-year-old, Pakistani priest of Karachi, is actively preaching tolerance to his congregation. Despite the fact that Anthony’s own family had to face religion-based persecution including extortion, beatings and facing discriminatory attitudes at school and the shops, he still airs the message of love, peace and tolerance from the pulpit.
“Persecution is not only about the blasphemy law,” he said adding, “There are different kinds of persecutions. There is discrimination, when we go out, in education and jobs … sometimes slavery in Sindh and Punjab. There are people who come to us who say they are educated and capable but they don’t get jobs. The reason is religion.”
“We do stand for our rights, and we raise our voice,” Anthony Ibraz said. “The Christian community or the minorities are more aware now about blasphemy cases and persecution. They are more aware now of sending messages, or to appear in the media. They know what the result could be.”
In the face of the ostensibly never-ending persecution, Anthony Ibraz has clung to his message of patience and tolerance. “Maybe something good will have to come out at some point,” Ibraz said. “At the same time we tell them that this persecution becomes a reason to unite. If we are together, you can do something.”