ISLAMABAD: International Christian Voice talks about Rimsha Masih’s flight from Pakistan.
In consistency with the details, the International Christian Voice (ICV) played an instrumental role in voicing the plight of Rimsha Masih who was charged with blasphemy in August 2012.
News of her departure from Pakistan broke in June that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney had intervened and facilitated emigration of Rimsha Masih and her entire family on charitable and sympathetic grounds. Rimsha and her family arrived in Canada in March, 2013 and are living in the Toronto area.
According to ICV founder and President Peter Bhatti, “the Masihs are settling in well in Canada. Though they are not affiliated with any particular Christian denomination, they are attending a Catholic church. They are learning English, have been going to school and are very happy and integrating well,” he said. “They have a new life. They don’t fear someone will attack them or do damage to them.”
“We want to request the government of Pakistan to please look after such cases and bring them to justice, and make sure Christians and other religious minorities of Pakistan are safe and nobody can have this kind of motive to do this kind of thing again,” ICV President says.
Nonetheless, lingering about are other high-profile cases where Christians are charged with blasphemy conviction. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was accused of blasphemy in 2009 for blaspheming, has remained in prison since then. Asia Bibi’s case came into standing as a result of the public fight against the blasphemy laws by, former Pakistan Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, and Governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer, who were both assassinated for fighting for the rights of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan.
Talking about the merger of ministry of Interfaith harmony with ministry of religious affairs, Petter Bhatti said, “We are not very hopeful,we have not seen any improvements since the merger of the two ministries into one.”
Despite the topical success in helping Rimsha Masih and her family gain asylum and her family resettled, Peter Bhatti says,” the prospects for Christians in Pakistan remain difficult.”