Stories about Christian

Can Mother Teresa, a non-Muslim, go to heaven?

The recent killings of Shias and blasphemy charges against a young Christian girl are not a product of some foreign militant group terrorising our peaceful land. The incidents of violence against minorities and sectarian groups are largely a result of the ideology that exists in all corners of our society. Whether you are a liberal or conservative, educated or ignorant, we all share the blame for such incidents. On this very topic, a heated argument in my class erupted when I asked a simple question to my students: “Is Mother Teresa going to heaven?” To my surprise, more than 80% of this educated ...

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Blasphemy and minority plight: Pakistan is no different from Burma

As the rest of the country goes about its way, having just celebrated another joyous Eid, spare a thought for a little girl with special needs, languishing in a juvenile jail. She is probably all alone, and scared. With her condition, she very well might not even know the reason she is in there. But ask her neighbours, some who are frothing at the teeth to have a go at her, and they will tell you that she deserves to die. Rimsha Masih, an 11-year-old Pakistani girl of the Christian faith, who reportedly suffers from Down Syndrome, was arrested on allegations that she ...

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Let’s paint our flag green, we don’t deserve white

Have you ever been so severely bullied in school that changing your section or your school seemed like the only way to escape the torture your peers had you under? If you haven’t, feel blessed. If you have, I guess I need not explain how humiliating and belittling the experience is. It has you living in constant terror, bile slowly rising up your throat when the bully emerges; it can make you beg and plead for mercy; it can even make you wet your pants. For a bullied student, the solace that probably keeps him/her sane is that he gets to ...

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Blasphemy: Intolerance prevails from Russia to Pakistan

For the majority of us tolerance is not something we are born with. Intolerance, on the other hand, seems to come to us naturally, like aggression or desire, and manifests against that which is different or against our vested interests. To Pakistan, the story of intolerance is not new – we persecute any one whose beliefs are differentness from the mainstream ones. However, recently I stumbled upon a story from Russia, which reminded me starkly of my own country, Pakistan. Russia, hardly a bastion for modern western democracy, is currently facing its own challenges in dealing with intolerance in the shape of a ...

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So, a Christian can’t ‘save’ Pakistan?

Recently, I have come across many status updates on my timeline that really hit me deep. It is very common for me to see the following opinions pop up on my news feed: Pakistan ko bachanay k liye humain acha Musalman ban’na pareyga. (To save Pakistan, we need to become good Muslims.) The only way to achieve a prosperous Pakistan is by being staunch Muslim These statuses have, many a times, left me pondering about the definition of a Pakistani. Thus, I decided to look up the definition of the word ‘citizen’ in the dictionary and see how far it applied to being a Pakistani ...

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How much killing is too much?

The Pakistani flag  is an emblem of freedom and independence for all Pakistanis. The star and the crescent symbolise light and progress respectively. The dark green represents Pakistan’s Muslim population, and since this is a majority, the green covers the greater amount of the flag. The white strip on the side represents the country’s minority groups. For a moment, dear reader, just imagine the green side overlapping and taking over the white until the entire flag is green. Bold and unimaginable isn’t it? However, this image isn’t far from the truth. It depicts what is happening right now in Pakistan, where every minority ...

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Why won’t NADRA recognise the Kalasha?

Did you know that there is a pre-historic animist religion called Kalasha –  a religion still practised and cherished by the Kalasha people of the Hindu Kush valley? Are you also aware that the Kalasha people don’t even have an option to choose their religion in the ‘religion box’ endorsed by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA)? Nadra came under scrutiny when it refused to rectify typographical errors it had made of a Christian MPA Rana Mahmood that identified him as a Muslim on his national identity card. The issue drew a considerable amount of attention from both the media and human rights activists, who criticised Nadra ...

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How Pakistan got boxed into religion

The National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) refusal to change MPA Rana Mahmood’s religion from “Islam” to “Christianity” has many boxed in. A plethora of questions have arisen. Is this a human rights violation? Will Mahmood be considered an apostate if his records were to reflect that he left Islam? How can you change someone’s faith with a stroke of a pen? But no one is talking about the real question: Why do we have a “religion box” on our legal documents anyway? Say that and you essentially open Pandora’s Box. After all, in a 97% Muslim majority country, what good can ...

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Jinnah had a dream, and we failed him

Hopes were high when Jinnah presided over the Constituent Assembly in 1947 and declared without doubt that freedom of religion was to be respected. It was his wish to lift up the economic and politically deprived Muslims from their backwardness that led to the support of many non-Muslim minority activists as well, notably Christians. In a time where major Muslim political groupings allied themselves with the Indian National Congress, the Christians in their legislation secured Jinnah the desired support the All India Muslim League needed. His close friends and those amongst the founding fathers of Pakistan also belonged to minority ...

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Will I ever be a Pakistani?

During the cricket World Cup in 2011, many who knew that I am a Hindu, including some of my colleagues, asked me who I would support; India or Pakistan. The question was very irritating and annoyed me to the point that I would lose my temper. I didn’t understand why on earth they would ask me such a stupid question – just because I’m Hindu? Why isn’t the same question asked of a Christian when Pakistan plays against Australia, England or New Zealand? Despite the fact that this state was created with a pledge by the father of the nation for ...

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