Adopted by the Executive Committee of the Synod: Church of Pakistan, at its meeting on 21 October, 2009, at Murree
The recent tragedy of Gojra, where nine Pakistani Christians were burnt to death by a frenzied mob, has raised yet again the whole issue of the status and security of the religious minorities in an overwhelmingly Islamic country like Pakistan. This incident has highlighted in a very painful and tragic way, the experiences of Pakistani Christians, who so often are victimized under the false pretext of either having desecrated the Holy Quran or insulting the holy Prophet of Islam. Such cases have become rampant during the recent decades as the Pakistani society has become increasingly intolerant of fellow Pakistanis, based on their religious identity. This attitude has been sharply accentuated by the new clauses into the Blasphemy Law, which is being blatantly and maliciously abused for the harassment and marginalization of Christians, it is overwhelmingly evident that almost all such cases arise out of personal disputes and malice or to gain some political points or even for some sinister covert operations. All this of course has created a deep sense of insecurity, anxiety and fear amongst the Christian community, especially in vulnerable places like remote villages and 'bastis'. The most alarming whisper that is going around within these communities is the acquisition of some personal firearms for self-protection. This of course cannot be encouraged or supported under any conditions, but it does show the extreme tension under which these communities are living and of course it falls upon all of us to redeem their situation.
It is very sad to say that the motivation and the impetus for such actions come from the exploitation of faith and thus religion is used as a 'red rag' to incite the masses. These incidents have almost become a continuum and sadly almost all such cases are decided by the 'lynch mobs' which results in the burning of properties and public killing of victims. Unfortunately, it seems that the 'genie' is out of the bottle and the bull is on the rampage. The challenge before us is as to how do we contain this situation and lead it towards its healing and restoration, We the Church of Pakistan on behalf of all the Christians of Pakistan: