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We must go beyond condemnation to help persecuted Pakistani Christians: Archbishop of Canterbury


Archbishop of Canterbury-Justin Welby has urged that mere words of condemnation are not enough more than this should be done to protect the tattered Christians in Pakistan.

Pakistani Christians affected by blast

Followed by the heinous terror strike on a heavily crowded park in Lahore, on Easter March 27; widespread condemnations were heaped on. However, Pakistan government must go beyond mere words of condemnation, in order to protect the minorities especially the Christians in Pakistan. After the attack, a faction of Talibaan claimed responsibility and stated that Christians were the target.

Archbishop of Canterbury-Justin Welby, wrote in article that soon after learning about the incident he rand a Pakistani friend, to express his commiserations and deep sorrow about the attacks in Lahore on Easter Sunday.
“Lahore is a place I know well. Two years ago, I visited the city to meet Christian leaders and to pray with them. The stories I heard troubled me deeply. There was a real feeling that the Christians of Pakistan were under intense pressure, fearing to worship, even fearing for their lives. Last Sunday’s murderous actions do nothing to dispel that feeling,” Justin Welby continued.

Justin Welby further explains: “The friend I spoke to this week, who lives daily with intimidation and pressure, listened politely; he thanked me for my words of sorrow for the victims and condemnation of such dreadful atrocities. But then he said: “Justin, condemnation is not enough, we must go beyond condemnation to something better.”

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In his expose, Justin goes on to ask: “Beyond condemnation? What could that mean?” However, “It is, of course, important that religious and political leaders condemn unequivocally the persecution of Christians and other minorities around the world. But it is also vital that concrete action is taken; that, as my friend argued, we move beyond condemnation to something better.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury further urges that the governments and religious communities on their part must try and understand their “legal obligation to uphold the right to freedom of religion and belief.” Right to Freedom of Religion and Belief refers to the freedom of each and every citizen of a state to live out his religion and not just this but the right to change one’s religion. This fundamental human right is confirmed by the law at both national and international levels.

He goes on to implore that in the face of rising religious intolerance, prejudice and extremism,” there is an urgent diplomatic task to ensure that no country, anywhere in the world, accidentally or deliberately, supports the persecution of anyone for their religious belief — or, for that matter, their lack of it.” He further explains that religious ignorance should be curbed and the ruling authorities including the governments, security and military leaders, and diplomats must have the idea about the might and brunt of religious belief.