Fears for Christians as Pakistan moves to tighten blasphemy laws

ChristianToday.com reports: “A Bill passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan earlier this month has led to increased fears for the country’s persecuted Christian minority.

The Criminal Laws (Amendment Bill) was passed unanimously by the assembly on 17 January and increases the penalty for insulting the Prophet Muhammad’s companions, wives and family members from three years to 10 years in prison.

The crime also carries a one million rupee fine (around £3,500).

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said the new Bill makes Pakistan’s existing blasphemy laws ‘more stringent’ and has sparked ‘alarm’ within minority communities who fear the change will fuel human rights abuses and make them even more of a target for harassment.

Christian human rights groups have long warned that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are being routinely misused as a pretext for mob violence and to settle grudges and personal scores against religious minorities…”

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