UK government expresses concerns about ongoing persecution of Pakistani Christians

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The UK government has voiced its concerns about the continuing persecution of Christians in Pakistan. In this regard, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the UK Government is “concerned about continuing reports of abuses against Christians” in Pakistan.

Religion based persecution of Pakistani Christians

Alok Sharma presented a written response on behalf of the UK government over a question about the quandary of the Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “The Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their religion or beliefs.”

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Alok Sharma was responding to a question from the MP for Glasgow East Natalie McGarry. In response to a question from MP Natalie, Alok Sharma said: “We regularly raise our concerns about the protection of minority communities, including religious minorities, with the Pakistani Government at a senior level.

He further continued: “It is encouraging that the Government of Pakistan has enacted legislation to protect religious minority groups. The United Kingdom continues to urge Pakistan to honor in practice its human rights obligations, including those related to religious minorities, and to uphold the rule of law.”

Incidents of Christian persecution have been regularly reported in the country, in line with the United States Commission for the International Religious Freedom report: In 2015, the Pakistani government continued to perpetrate and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations. Religiously-discriminatory constitutional provisions and legislation, such as the country’s blasphemy law and anti-Ahmadiyya laws, intrinsically violate international standards of freedom of religion or belief and result in prosecutions and imprisonments.”