Christians in Pakistan represent less than 2% of the population. When the country was created in 1947, they were supposed to be an integral part of the new nation without discrimination.
However, the Christian community is often the victim of an outbreak of violence, like last August 16, when a crowd of fanatics rushed into the Christian district of Jaranwala, in Punjab. Men, dragging in their wake teenagers armed with stones, sticks and molotov cocktails, destroyed several churches, looted and burned more than a hundred houses under the eyes of police reluctant to intervene.
Social networks had to go up in flames for the order to be given to protect the faithful. Many voices from civil society were outraged.
However, the problem remains the blasphemy law which poisons the lives of the country’s minorities. Pakistan’s successive governments are often held hostage by extremists. The government of Shehbaz Sharif (Pakistan Muslim League) voted in Parliament to strengthen the text in 2023. This law is used to discriminate against people from religious minorities but also to get rid of a rival and steal their property. However, the Supreme Court has just imposed on public institutions the use of the term “Masihi” (people of the Messiah) to designate Christians, replacing the pejorative “Esai”.