Pakistani Bishops call for a population census, calling it the need of the hour. Pakistani church leaders have also emphasized upon the inevitable need to update the data of the Christians and other religious minorities living in the country.
This request was put forth by the Bishops when they gathered in Lahore during their annual assembly. “The census is important for the good governance of the State and for better management of social services and equitable distribution of resources,” an official statement from the Bishops read. A precise knowledge of the size of populations of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other Non-Muslims Pakistanis will be useful in order to dispensation of adequate facilities.
Furthermore, the Bishops engaged priests, catechists, Bible teachers and Evangelists to motivate the Christians to partake in the data collection process. They said that given that the data regarding the Christians dates back to 1998 which was chalked out on the basis of census held in 1998.
Additionally, the church men also discussed various other issues faced by the Pakistani Christians during the meeting of the Bishops’ Conference. They urged the government to implement the quota reserved for the minorities in the government jobs sector.
“We appeal to the government so that it supports this practice, and controls irregularities,” the statement said while heaping condemnation: “the increasing corruption in the country and the management of public affairs in accordance with private interests.”
At the same time the Bishops expressed deep concerns over looming changes and in the law standardizing Christian marriages in the country. In this respect, the mainstream churches and denominations in the country are scrutinizing a bill to reform the Christian Marriage Act. For this purpose, negotiations are underway between the clergymen and Federal Minister for Human Rights.
The participants of the meeting also called for peace and harmony in the country urging all to uphold “peaceful coexistence,” they further called upon all Pakistanis to free themselves from “the tight grip of extremism, sectarian killings, terrorism and insecurity.”