ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christian Leaders in Lahore: "Stop to the preaching of interreligious hatred on Tv"

Monday, 8 May 2017 islam   terrorism   civil society   social communications   social network   dialogue   ecumenicalism  

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - Words of anti-Christian hatred on Pakistani TV have been strongly condemned and an appeal to stop the denigration campaign that instigates violence against religious minorities: this is what the Ecumenical Solidarity Commission of Lahore said, which brings together Christian leaders of various confessions present in the territory, members of the Anglican, Presbyterian and Catholic Churches.
As Fides learns, the Commission deplored recent television broadcasts, press articles, and social media messages that humiliate Pakistani Christians. The Commission has decided to write an official letter to government authorities and entrepreneur Amar Mehmood, owner of the "Dunyia Tv" television channel, where some public figures, as guests, repeatedly expressed words and defamatory arguments against Christians.
"This wave of hatred will be brought to the attention of the higher authorities", said the Christian leaders of the Commission.
In particular, the soap opera "Baji Irshad" is deplorable, whose protagonist is a Christian woman who works as a waitress in the home of a rich Muslim family. The TV series, in the authors' minds, intended to emphasize the social class difference on the existing gap in Pakistani society between the rich and the poor, but it ends up fueling stereotypes and discrimination which today "demoralize and humiliate Christian citizens", he says.
Another point discussed in the Commission was the delicate theme of blasphemy: starting from the recent murder of Muslim student Mashal Khan, at Mardan University, due to false allegations of blasphemy, Christian leaders reiterated the urgency of stopping the abuse and exploitation of the law of blasphemy that "has already unjustly struck thousands of people, including Muslims, Christians and Hindus who are in prison", noted Fr. Inayat Bernard, Member of the Commission to Fides.
The priest reports an episode to Fides: "A Muslim woman, Noreen Laghari, militant of the Islamic State, confessed that she intended to program an attack with the aim of killing at least 50 Christians on Easter Day. She was arrested and, thanks to the effective measures taken by the Punjab government to ensure the security of churches, a massacre was avoided. The question is: will innocent Christian Asia Bibi, who is in prison, be treated with the same criteria?"
Christian leaders took the opportunity to pray for Christians all over the world, especially for the brothers in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan and to thank God for the Pope's fruitful trip to Egypt, which strengthens the paths of Islamic-Christian dialogue. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 8/5/2017)