Religious minorities have all but evacuated Pakistan amid increasing extremism and restrictions on religious freedom, reports UCANews.
Non-Muslims now make up less than four per cent of the country’s 170 million residents, a drastic decline from the 40 per cent when modern Pakistan was formed in 1947.
“Attitudes towards non-Muslims became more aggressive under the prolonged military regimes, while the democratic governments failed to address the situation,” said Nasira Iqbal, a retired judge of Lahore High Court. The introduction of blasphemy laws has made non-Muslims more vulnerable to persecution, she added.
Kanwal Feroz, editor of a Christian monthly, said the emigration trend has increased among Christian families as well, especially among the young generation.
“There is a wave of disappointment every time culprits of anti-Christian violence go unpunished,” Feroz said. He also pointed out that gaining asylum can be more difficult for Christians than Hindus, who are more easily accepted in India.
“Many Christians lose huge amounts of money seeking asylum abroad,” he said.
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Put yourself in the shoes of a Pakistani Christian. Would you stay? Would you seek to leave? Why or why not?