Persecution of Christians a matter of human rights abuse: Archbishop of Lahore

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Archbishop of Lahore, Francis Sebastian Shaw has stated that the persecution of Christians is a matter of human rights abuses. Archbishop while talking to Fox News said that in order to curb the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, church members need to get engaged in humanitarian outreach to their neighbors.

Catholic Church in Pakistan

He said that in this regard, we must not seek military intervention in order to prevent persecution of Christians. He maintained that having people on ground is much more effective approach than military intervention. “Such humanitarian efforts should not be interpreted as helping Christians, but helping humanity,” he explained.

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Further explaining is viewpoint he said: “Direct military intervention will create problems, but what I think can be done, if not directly, is more of a humanitarian base.” Archbishop Shaw maintained that serving those outside the church will help the church touch the lives of the persecutors. “Then they will see that these Christians are helping them also, as well as their own community,” he said.

Citing the 2013, incident when an entire neighborhood of Christians was burnt by a vigilante mob; Archbishop Shaw stated: “Muslim scholars came and supported those who lost their homes. “They went with us to console the victimized people. Together.”

“The people in Joseph Colony were very happy and encouraged, that it was not only the bishop and other church leaders who came, but also Muslim leaders. We consoled them. We showed our support and this way people realized that there are many other good people who are with them even though there was a small pocket of people who had created a problem.”

He went to tell Fox News that despite that fact there have been frequent and sporadic incidents of Pakistani Christians being subjected to persecution and discrimination; the situation has somewhat improved. He said that increased dialogue between Christians and Muslims has helped curb the religion based discrimination to some extent.

“Some areas have improved,” Archbishop of Lahore said as he continued, “But there needs to be more of an open dialogue about faith, where a person can profess their faith with discussion and not debate.”