Pakistan militants threaten to destabilize nation

By June 11, 2010

Pakistan (MNN) — Pakistan risks destabilization if the
insurgency continues in Punjab. However,
because the government uses militants for electoral support, they would risk
losing that support if they try to prevent these attacks on other, less-powerful
minority groups.

It seems this dilemma
has allowed the local militancy to run with impunity. As a result, insurgency is revealing itself through a "religious cleansing."

Carl Moeller with
Open Doors cites a Compass Direct report: "Over 200 Christian families were
forcibly evicted from their homes. The reality is propagated by extremists who
are using the blasphemy laws to force the Christian community almost to the
brink of extinction." 

The head of a Muslim village in Khanewal district, Punjab
Province, expelled these families after Christian residents objected too
strenuously to sexual assaults by Muslims on Christian girls and women, said a
locally elected Christian official, Emmanuel Masih.

Voice of the Martyrs Canada says a Christian woman's value
is so low, they become easy targets for rape.

Police were no help. CDN reported the Christians remained
silent on that account because filing a complaint against the Muslims would
only result in false charges against them under Pakistan's "blasphemy" laws.

The blasphemy laws are very subjective, including anything
from "injuring religious feelings" to a section on defiling the Quran, and one on blaspheming the
prophet Muhammad. Fanatical Muslims frequently
misuse the laws to settle personal scores against Christians.

Though marginalized, Moeller says Christians are key to stability. "The Christian
community could well help promote stability and reconciliation in this context
if these extremists were exposed for their real motives." 

The persecution is having an unintended effect. Moeller says, "Evangelism is taking
place. There are those that are coming
to faith in Jesus Christ even as a result of observing as the Christians are
persecuted, that they continue to hold onto their faith."

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