[Europe.justus] Fwd: ACNS4647 Advocacy for Christians in Pakistan

Vicky office at tec-europe.org
Thu Aug 20 14:24:28 GMT 2009

As +Pierre is the Episcopal Church's representative on NIFCON,  
forwarding as instructed :

> Début du message réexpédié :
>> De : Anglican Communion News Service <acnslist at anglicancommunion.org>
>> Date : 20 août 2009 07:48:52 HAE (ÉUA)
>> À : bppwhalon at aol.com
>> Objet : ACNS4647 Advocacy for Christians in Pakistan
>> Advocacy for Christians in Pakistan
>> Posted On : August 20, 2009 10:59 AM | Posted By : Admin ACO
>> Related Categories: ACO - NIFCON  Pakistan
>> ACNS: http://www.aco.org/acns/news.cfm/2009/8/20/ACNS4647
>> Having listened to the concerns of Christian partners and  
>> correspondents
>> in Pakistan, NIFCON (the Network of Inter Faith Concerns for the
>> Anglican Communion) is one of the main sponsors of a petition being
>> drawn up asking the government of Pakistan to repeal the law against
>> blasphemy. In recent years the threat of this law has often been  
>> used in
>> unjust attacks upon the country's vulnerable Christian minority,  
>> and it
>> seems to have played a part in the recent incident in Gojra which  
>> led to
>> the death of a number of Christians.
>> The Chair of NIFCON's Management group, the Rt Revd Michael Jackson,
>> Bishop of Clogher, Ireland, who accompanied the Archbishop of  
>> Canterbury
>> on a visit to Pakistan in November 2005, commented: 'The advocacy of
>> structural change by people internationally signals an awareness of  
>> the
>> seriousness of injustice locally. It also expresses a personal
>> solidarity with those who suffer and recognizes publicly that their  
>> cry
>> is heard. I am glad to invite people of good will, especially  
>> Anglicans,
>> from all over the world to add their voices in support of our  
>> Christian
>> brothers and sisters in Pakistan.'
>> The petition is also supported by a number of leading Muslims, in
>> particular Dr Musharraf Hussein, of the Christian-Muslim Forum  
>> based in
>> England.
>> The petition can be accessed here:
>> http://pakistansignnow.petitionhost.com/
>> It is in the form of an open letter to the government and people of
>> Pakistan and states:
>> Safety and respect for Christians in Pakistan
>> In the past weeks a number of Christians in Pakistan have been  
>> murdered
>> by violent mobs stirred up by extremists as part of a pattern of
>> violence that has been intensifying in recent years.
>> These killings have been very widely condemned by Christian and  
>> Muslim
>> religious leaders around the world and by the Government of  
>> Pakistan as
>> well as by many others.
>> The attacks have frequently been associated with false accusations of
>> blasphemy or desecration of the Qur'an which have been used to stir  
>> up
>> mob violence. The law on blasphemy has provided a ready excuse for  
>> those
>> who are motivated to use it for their own ends
>> The attacks on Christians, and on occasions also on Muslims,  
>> facilitated
>> as they are by the law on blasphemy, are very damaging to the  
>> reputation
>> of Pakistan and indeed to the reputation of Muslims which we wish  
>> to see
>> restored. Indeed we are convinced that living together peacefully for
>> the good of humanity is the heartfelt desire of people of faith.
>> We who sign this letter - Christians, Muslims and people of other
>> religions or none - from many countries including Pakistan, call upon
>> the political and religious leadership of Pakistan to unite in
>> condemning these attacks and murders in the strongest terms as an  
>> evil
>> and a crime.
>> We urge the Government of Pakistan to take all necessary measures to
>> restore confidence in the police and judiciary by ensuring that  
>> those at
>> risk from violence stirred up by extremists are fully protected.
>> We also urge Parliamentarians and democratic politicians to act
>> decisively to prevent any misuse of the present law to victimise
>> minorities. Muslims and Christians alike are urging the repeal of  
>> this
>> ill-advised law and particularly its sections 295 B and 295C, and its
>> replacement with legislation agreed by the consensus of all faiths  
>> which
>> will prevent incitement to religious hatred and the defaming of the
>> prophets and founders of the different faiths.
>> We commit ourselves to continue to work together for justice, peace  
>> and
>> reconciliation in our own communities.
>> The Rt Revd Michael Jackson
>> Chair, Network for Inter Faith Concerns of the Anglican Communion
>> Dr Musharraf Hussain
>> Chair, national Christian-Muslim Forum of England
>> For more information about the work of NIFCON contact Clare Amos,
>> Director of Theological Studies, at  
>> clare.amos at anglicancommunion.org or
>> Suminder Duggal, NIFCON Administrator at
>> suminder.duggal at anglicancommunion.org
>> ___________________________________________________________________
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