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Archbishop condemns atrocities in Pakistan

Tuesday 4th August 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has today made the following statement regarding the violence in Pakistan:

The recent atrocities against Christians in Pakistan will sear the imaginations of countless people of all faiths throughout the world.  As the minister of law in the Punjab has already said, such actions are not the work of true Muslims: they are an abuse of real faith and an injury to its reputation as well as an outrage against common humanity, and deserve forthright condemnation.

Christians in Pakistan are a small and vulnerable minority, generally with little political or economic power.  They are disproportionately affected by the draconian laws against blasphemy, which in recent years have frequently been abused in order to settle local and personal grievances.  They need to be assured of their dignity and liberty as citizens of a just and peaceful society.  Their good, their security, is part of the good of the whole Pakistani nation.  Those of us who love Pakistan and its people, whatever their faith, feel that the whole country is injured and diminished by the violence that has occurred.

I appeal to the Government of Pakistan to spare no efforts, not only in seeing that justice is done in the wake of these terrible events, but also in continuing to build a society in which all faiths are honoured and in which the most vulnerable can be assured of the protection of the law and the respect of their fellow-citizens.

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