Pakistan: Victims sentenced, Persecutors freed!
February 23, 2017
A court in Lahore has sentenced 42 Christians for rioting after two churches in Pakistan’s largest Christian neighborhood were bombed, Same court acquitted more than 100 Muslims for rampaging through another one of Lahore’s major Christian communities. Does anyone see an uneven scale in “justice” here?
What kind of legal system allows the guilty to go free and the free to be convicted? The recent legal case in Pakistan between Christians and Muslims could not be a better example of the uneven scales of justice in that country. Christianity Today reports that an anti-terrorism court in Lahore has sentenced 42 Christians for rioting after two churches in Pakistan’s largest Christian neighborhood were bombed in 2015, according to a reports from Fides, the news agency of the Vatican. The ruling comes less than a month after the court acquitted more than 100 Muslims for rampaging through another one of Lahore’s major Christian communities in 2013 over one man’s alleged blasphemy. It seems hypocritical that an “anti-terrorism” court would free those terrorizing but sentence the ones being terrorized.
The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), an initiative of Pakistan’s Catholic bishops, told Fides that they were disappointed that the church attackers have not been punished.Also left unpunished were the approximately 112 Muslims who were arrested for ransacking, looting, and setting fire to more than 100 homes in Joseph Colony in 2013. The court found them innocent despite eyewitnesses and videos of the attack, reported World Watch Monitor.
“The evidence was not enough to prove the crime,” said judge Chaudhry Muhammad Azam.
Cecil Shane Chaudhry, executive director of the NCJP, told UCA News, a Hong Kong-based outlet focused on Asian Catholics, that the Joseph Colony ruling was “quite upsetting.”
“Basically, this means that, despite video footage, documents, and pictures of thousands rampaging through Christian properties, the court has not found anyone guilty,” he said. “So mobs are free to do whatever they want.”
The two cases from Lahore, the second-largest city in Pakistan, stand in stark contrast to the promise of Pakistan’s prime minister last month that the country will soon “better the lives of minority groups.” According to Christianity Today, Open Doors ranked Pakistan No. 4 on its 2017 list of the worst places to live as a Christian. More than four out of every five Christians in Pakistan work as domestic laborers, cleaners, and street sweepers.
Original article by Christianity Today / TRUNEWS summary.
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