Pakistani Bible Ban?

June 8th, 2011

According to the Catholic News agency, a fringe Islamist political party in Pakistan has requested that the country's Supreme Court declare certain Bible passages "blasphemous". If the court refuses, the party has said it will demand that the Bible be banned in the country.

Why is this a big deal?

Well, the political party isn't a big player, but it is part of an alliance of six religious parties that does have significant collective influence inside Pakistan. Most experts agree that the likelihood of a court blasphemy declaration or outright Bible ban is small. But the fact that this is even being seriously discussed in Pakistan should cause Christians around the world to be alarmed.

Just Google "freedom of religion in Pakistan" and you'll see the problem. The Pakistani government claims that Muslims and non-Muslims are treated equally and that everyone shares the same rights. The reality seems quite different. For example, defaming the Koran can be punishable by life in prison and insulting Mohammed is punishable by death.

Read this BBC report on Asia Bibi if you doubt that this sort of thing really goes on. And it's happening in other majority Muslim countries, not just Pakistan.

Unfortunately, with the exception of an occasional story, most mainstream non-religious news sources don't report much on religious persecution. But when fringe Christian pastor Terry Jones burns a Koran, it's front page news.

Pakistan harbored the world's number one terrorist and is attempting to execute a Christian woman for blasphemy against Islam. Is it a far-fetched notion that this country could ban the Bible?

I don't think it is.


comments powered by Disqus