Monday, April 4, 2011

Letter to Pakistani Officials Asking to Protect Religious Minorities in Pakistan

Today, I received the following email from Open Doors, USA:
Dear Christiana,
Christians in Pakistan are in great fear of increased persecution since the recent assassinations of Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti. These two men were the greatest friends of religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians. We are asking you to send a message to the Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. expressing your concern for fellow Christians that live in Pakistan, and encouraging the protection of Christians in the country.
Salmaan Taseer was the Governor of Punjab, and an outspoken critic of Pakistan's blasphemy laws. After a Christian woman named Asia Noreen was sentenced to death for blasphemy, Taseer declared that she should be pardoned. Islamist parties started protests against Taseer, and the governor's bodyguard murdered him because of his opposition to the laws.
Pakistan's Minister of Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated less than two months after Taseer. According to a note left at the scene of his murder, suspected Islamic extremists murdered him because of his vocal opposition to the blasphemy laws. Bhatti was the only Christian in the Pakistani Cabinet, and was a determined advocate for Pakistan's religious minorities.
Religious minorities in Pakistan, particularly Christians, have good reason to be fearful after these two murders. Islamists in the country hold much power because they have shown that those who oppose them will likely suffer for it. They have seen their greatest advocates assassinated, and they need support and encouragement from the body of Christ: Christians like you.
The purpose of this letter is to express our compassion and prayer for Pakistan. Messages that might offend the Pakistani government will harm Christians in Pakistan, not help them. Therefore, please follow specific guidelines if you choose to edit the sample letter before sending it to Pakistani Embassy. If you are not willing to abide by these guidelines, then we ask you to forgo this way of communicating your compassion and prayer. Please…
- Do not mention Open Doors in your message
- Do not discuss Pakistan's Blasphemy Law in your message
- Do not criticize Islam in your message
- Do not sound antagonistic, use respectful language
Thank you for understanding the need for additional caution in this campaign and THANK YOU for taking action to express your love and support for suffering Christians in Pakistan. Please send a message to Pakistani Ambassador Haqqani today!
Advocating with you,
Lindsay Vessey
Advocacy Director
Open Doors USA

Here is the sample letter that you can send to the Honorable Ambassador Haqqani:

I am deeply shocked and grieved by the death of Pakistani Cabinet minister, Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti. Earlier this year, your country already lost the Punjabi Governor Mr. Salmaan Taseer.
Through this letter, I want to express my sincere condolences to you and your country, and to the grieving families and relatives of both men.
In Bhatti and Taseer, your country lost two brave politicians who committed themselves to serving the country to the best of their abilities.
I acknowledge the delicate situation your government is in, trying to lead the country into a peaceful and prosperous future in both unity and harmony. Therefore, I want to reach out in prayer to the government of Pakistan and to its citizens, especially in this period of grief.
I politely ask that special attention be given to the protection of the Christian minority in your country who are mourning the deaths of their friends.
May God provide you and the Pakistani authorities with all the wisdom and discernment they need.

Please commit to pray for Pakistan, its leaders, and its Christians.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your feedback; it's very important to me. If you have anything to add, please feel free to do so. Just keep the content clean and please be respectful. Thank you.