A US study reveals that minorities in Pakistan and India face discrimination.

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A US study reveals that minorities in Pakistan and India face discrimination.

“Christian groups said police aided mobs that disrupted worship over accusations of conversion,” states say.

Regarding the treatment of religious minorities in Pakistan and India, the US State Department has voiced serious concerns in its annual report on religious freedom, the “2023 International Religious Freedom Report.”

The research draws attention to the concerning conditions that the Muslim and Christian communities in India are living under. The research, which was made public on Wednesday, claims that there is a great deal of discrimination against minority communities in the neighboring nation.
A US study reveals that minorities in Pakistan and India face discrimination.
Christian devotees shout anti-India slogans during a protest against the latest attacks on Christians in India, in Karachi on January 2, 2022. —AFP

In February, over 20,000 Christians came to New Delhi to express their disapproval of the growing number of violent occurrences. In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, up to 93 former top public servants voiced their worries about the pervasive harassment that Christians experience at the hands of powerful politicians.

The research highlighted instances in which Christians and Muslims were harassed by falsely accusing them and apprehended under anti-conversion laws.

“Christians and Muslims were arrested under laws banning forced religious conversions, which religious groups said in some cases were used to harass and imprison members of religious minority groups on false and fabricated charges or for lawful religious practices,” according to the report.

In February, over 20,000 Christians came to New Delhi to express their disapproval of the growing number of violent occurrences. In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, up to 93 former top public servants voiced their worries about the pervasive harassment that Christians experience at the hands of powerful politicians.

The research highlighted instances in which Christians and Muslims were harassed by falsely accusing them and apprehended under anti-conversion laws.

“Christians and Muslims were arrested under laws banning forced religious conversions, which religious groups said in some cases were used to harass and imprison members of religious minority groups on false and fabricated charges or for lawful religious practices,” according to the report.

There were 272 reports of communal violence in 2022, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. There have been threats and murders of minorities in several Indian states.

“Attacks on members of religious minority groups, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, occurred in various states throughout the year, including cases of “cow vigilantism” based on allegations that Muslim men were participating in cow slaughter or trade in beef,” according to the report.

Concerns over issues related to religious freedom have been raised by US officials with their Indian counterparts.

There are 329 blasphemy cases in Pakistan.

The situation is equally worrying in Pakistan. 329 people were charged with blasphemy in 2023; of these, 75% were Muslims, 20% were Ahmadis, and 3.3% were Christians.

Due to blasphemy accusations on social media, the Federal Investigation Agency detained 140 persons; 11 of them received death sentences, two of which were upheld by higher courts.

Due to blasphemous content, Wikipedia’s services were curtailed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, and at the government’s request, social media networks blacklisted around 71,000 URLs. The Senate passed a bill stiffening the penalties for blasphemy in August.

Armed sectarian groups attacked buildings and religious gatherings with violence. The victims of these attackers, who were frequently anonymous, included people from the Ahmadi, Sikh, Christian, Sunni, and Shia groups.

At least sixteen people were killed in 2023 due to their religious beliefs, including seven Shias, four Sikhs, three Christians, one Hindu, and one Ahmadi.

“On December 29, 2023, the Secretary of State redesignated Pakistan as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, as amended, for having engaged in or tolerated severe violations of religious freedom and issued a waiver of the sanctions that accompany the designation in the national interest of the United States. It stated that Pakistan was initially named a CPC in 2018.

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