UK’s perspective regarding persecution of Christians in Pakistan might change after facts were presented.
Christians from Pakistan have presented facts and evidences regarding the religion based persecution which they have to face in their homeland. Under the current status, the British Home Office recognizes the suffering of Pakistan Christians as discrimination and not real persecution.
In this regard, the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief is hosting a meeting in London. The meeting is intended to ascertain whether the sufferings of Christians in Pakistan amounts to discrimination or a “real risk of persecution.”
A case, related to two Pakistani Christians who are seeking asylum in the UK. This case is called ‘AK and SK’, while the court ruled that: ‘Christians in general are permitted to practise their faith, can attend church, participate in religious activities and have their own schools and hospitals’, and therefore were not at a real risk of persecution.
However, this court ruling has become an archetypical standard policy upon which asylum applications of Pakistani Christians are considered. On the other hand, Operations Director of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, Katharine Thane is uncertain whether this court ruling is accurate.
“If you disagree with the views or beliefs of the people around you and you make this known, you are quite often attacked or at least discriminated against; in schooling and in access to healthcare for example.”
Katharine Thane briefed the PM about the Home Office’s stance could render Christians in Pakistan more susceptible: “If we find that it is even putting some Christians in danger we will be asking the Home Office to change it.
“One of the big changes that could happen is to come up with some kind of formula that does not state that all Christians are, or are not, persecuted because of their beliefs. I don’t think it is a one size fits all; it is a case by case basis and this will ensure that those who are in real risk of persecution are protected. We want to make sure that those who are genuinely vulnerable are being let in to the UK or looked after.”