They Cry in Silence Sep/Oct 2010

Compass Direct News recently gave us a glance at life for Christians in Pakistan, a country that is 97 percent Muslim and purported to be an ally of America and the West. As we’ve seen many times, however, that cordial relationship does not extend to Christians.

Compass Direct reported that early in June, Muslim village leaders ordered 250 Christian families to leave their homes in Punjab Province after Christians complained that Muslims were sexually assaulting Christian girls and women, most of whom worked for Muslim families.

When church leaders approached the Muslim head of the village, they were severely reprimanded and ordered to vacate. Christians had settled Katcha Khoh in the 1950s. Since then, Muslims came in, took over, and made the Christians a minority.

Consequently, reported Compass Direct, “Most of the village’s Christian men work in the fields of Muslim land owners, while most of the Christian women and girls work as servants in the homes of Muslim families,” where their employers routinely use their power to sexually assault them.

Asked why they did not go to the police, the church leaders gave a reply that is familiar to Christian minorities in similar situations. They feared their complaints would provoke authorities to charge them with violating Pakistan’s notorious “blasphemy” statutes. Blasphemy laws in Islam condemn irreverent conduct toward holy personages, religious artifacts (the Qur’an), and practices and beliefs respected by Muslims. Muslims, however, use these laws to settle personal scores with Christians. Although penalties vary by country, they can include fines, imprisonment, flogging, amputation, or beheading.

“They might arrest us,” Christian leader Yousaf Masih Khokhar said, “and the situation would be worse for the Christian villagers who are already living a deplorably pathetic life under the shadow of fear and death.” He said the Muslims, however, “would not be in police lock-up or would be out on bail, due to their riches and influence, very soon.”

Their fears are confirmed by cases already on record. In one instance, reported Compass Direct, two Christian couples “had approached police with complaints against Muslims for falsely accusing them of blasphemy.” On May 28, a judge ordered police to charge the couples with desecrating the Qur’an “after a mob of armed Islamists went through their home’s trash looking for pages of the Islamic scripture.” The couples are now in hiding. However, police continue to harass relatives and close friends in an attempt to discover the couples’ whereabouts.

Such accusations and expulsions are reminiscent of the treatment of early Christians who lived among militant pagans in the first century. With militant Islam’s expulsion of Chris -tians from their ancient homes, including in places like Bethlehem, comes the realization that the world has turned violently against believers, even in the camps of our so-called political allies.

Unfortunately, this fact has not yet dawned on the uninformed, distracted leaders in government and much of the Christian community. What is taking place and reported regularly in this column is what militant Islam does everywhere it dominates. And it’s a wave that’s coming west.

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