Australian Christians will stand with the Australian Association of Pakistani Christians to light a candle and remember the victims of Peshawar. All are invited to join this event; a silent protest for an end to the senseless violence, the lack of protection and continued discrimination against religious minorities in Pakistan.
Join the Right Reverend Philip Huggins and those calling for protection of Pakistan's minorities and light a candle for the victims of Peshawar.
When: 6-7pm, 4 October 2013
Where: Princess Bridge, Melbourne
Media Statement from Australian Christians:
With recent headlines ‘Islamic terror groups are targeting Christians all over the world' and ‘Christians targeted in attacks across Muslim world’ perhaps German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been vindicated for claiming November 2012 that Christianity is “the most persecuted religion worldwide.'
The US Commission for Religious Liberty predicts the complete eradication of Iraq and Egypt's indigenous Christians and any Christian presence from Afghanistan. The most recent spate of attacks against Christians include Kenya (the assailants allegedly shouting for Muslims to get out of the way so they could specifically kill and mutilate Christians which they did with exceptional brutality ), Egypt, Syria and the most deadliest attack yet against Christians in Pakistan who were attending Peshawar’s All Saints Church 22 September 2013. According to the Australian Association of Pakistani Christians, this attack left 200 dead and 175 injured.
The cleansing of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan is often further fueled by cultural support for Pakistan’s sharia blasphemy law. Religious zealots dish out sharia punishments with impunity.
Pakistan’s blasphemy law states at Section 295-C:
“Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Pakistan has become a nightmare for religious minorities both on a personal and collective scale. According to Global Minorities Alliance report, just a week before the church bombing in Peshawar, a Karachi man, Boota Masih, was accused of blasphemy by a coworker shouting ‘an infidel who has blasphemed against Muhammad’.
"A large number of people, including four policemen and private security guards of the market, witnessed the entire scene, but no one tried to stop the killer, who walked away waving the dagger in his hand."
To remain silent about the violence against religious minorities in OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) nations is akin to joining those who watched and let the killer walk free in Karachi.
The Australian envoy to the OIC has a responsibility to be a voice for those who are silenced and subjected to violence and discrimination. OIC demands for ‘tolerance’ from other states must be directed towards its own citizens who continually fall foul to sharia intolerance.
Australian Christians is a federal political party with the goal of representing the values and concerns of the 2.7 million Christian Australians who attend church once a month or more, and others who identify with these values and human rights concerns.
Vickie Janson, Victorian State Director
M: 0411 298 464