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frankzappa

Malaysia, Nigeria & Pakistan

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Malaysia
In Malaysia, although Islam is the official religion, Christianity is tolerated under Article 3 and Article 11 of the Malaysian constitution. But at some point, the spread of Christianity is a particular sore point for the Muslim majority, the Malaysian government has also persecuted Christian groups who were perceived to be attempting to proselytize Muslim audiences. Those showing interest in the Christian faith or other faith practices not considered orthodox by state religious authorities are usually sent either by the police or their family members to state funded Faith Rehabilitation Centres (Malay: Pusat Pemulihan Akidah) where they are counseled to remain faithful to Islam and some states have provisions for penalties under their respective Shariah legislations for apostasy from Islam.

It has been the practice of the church in Malaysia to not actively proselytize to the Muslim community. Christian literature is required by law to carry a caption "for non-Muslims only". Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia allows the states to prohibit the propagation of other religions to Muslims, and most (with the exception of Penang, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territories) have done so. There is no well-researched agreement on the actual number of Malaysian Muslim converts to Christianity in Malaysia.  According to the latest population census released by the Malaysian Statistics Department, there are none, according to Ustaz Ridhuan Tee, they are 135 and according to Tan Sri Dr Harussani Zakaria, they are 260,000. See also Status of religious freedom in Malaysia.

There are, however, cases in which a Muslim will adopt the Christian faith without declaring his/her apostasy openly. In effect, they are practicing Christians, but legally Muslims.

Nigeria
In the 11 Northern states of Nigeria that have introduced the Islamic system of law, the Sharia, sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christians have resulted in many deaths, and some churches have been burned. More than 30,000 Christians were displaced from their homes in Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria.

The Boko Haram Islamist group has bombed churches and killed numerous Christians who they regard as kafirs (infidels). Some Muslim aid organisations in Nigeria reportedly reserve aid for Muslims displaced by Boko Haram. Christian Bishop William Naga reported to Open Doors UK that, "They[who?] will give food to the refugees, but if you are a Christian they will not give you food. They will openly tell you that the relief is not for Christians."

Pakistan
In Pakistan, 1.5% of the population are Christian. Pakistani law mandates that "blasphemies" of the Qur'an are to be met with punishment. At least a dozen Christians have been given death sentences, and half a dozen murdered after being accused of violating blasphemy laws. In 2005, 80 Christians were behind bars due to these laws. The Pakistani-American author Farahnaz Ispahani has called treatment of Christians in Pakistan a "drip-drip genocide."

Ayub Masih, a Christian, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 1998. He was accused by a neighbor of stating that he supported British writer Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses. Lower appeals courts upheld the conviction. However, before the Pakistan Supreme Court, his lawyer was able to prove that the accuser had used the conviction to force Masih's family off their land and then acquired control of the property. Masih has been released.

In October 2001, gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a Protestant congregation in the Punjab, killing 18 people. The identities of the gunmen are unknown. Officials think it might be a banned Islamic group.

In March 2002, five people were killed in an attack on a church in Islamabad, including an American schoolgirl and her mother.

In August 2002, masked gunmen stormed a Christian missionary school for foreigners in Islamabad; six people were killed and three injured. None of those killed were children of foreign missionaries.

In August 2002, grenades were thrown at a church in the grounds of a Christian hospital in north-west Pakistan, near Islamabad, killing three nurses.

On 25 September 2002, two terrorists entered the "Peace and Justice Institute", Karachi, where they separated Muslims from the Christians, and then murdered seven Christians by shooting them in the head. All of the victims were Pakistani Christians. Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said the victims had their hands tied and their mouths had been covered with tape.

In December 2002, three young girls were killed when a hand grenade was thrown into a church near Lahore on Christmas Day.

In November 2005, 3,000 Muslims attacked Christians in Sangla Hill in Pakistan and destroyed Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and United Presbyterian churches. The attack was over allegations of violation of blasphemy laws by a Pakistani Christian named Yousaf Masih. The attacks were widely condemned by some political parties in Pakistan.

On 5 June 2006, a Pakistani Christian, Nasir Ashraf, was assaulted for the "sin" of using public drinking water facilities near Lahore.

One year later, in August 2007, a Christian missionary couple, Rev. Arif and Kathleen Khan, were gunned down by Muslim terrorists in Islamabad. Pakistani police believed that the murders was committed by a member of Khan's parish over alleged sexual harassment by Khan. This assertion is widely doubted by Khan's family as well as by Pakistani Christians.

In August 2009, six Christians, including four women and a child, were burnt alive by Muslim militants and a church set ablaze in Gojra, Pakistan when violence broke out after alleged desecration of a Qur'an in a wedding ceremony by Christians.

On 8 November 2010, a Christian woman from Punjab Province, Asia Noreen Bibi, was sentenced to death by hanging for violating Pakistan's blasphemy law. The accusation stemmed from a 2009 incident in which Bibi became involved in a religious argument after offering water to thirsty Muslim farm workers. The workers later claimed that she had blasphemed the Muhammed. Until 2019, Bibi was in solitary confinement. A cleric had offered $5,800 to anyone who killed her. As of May 2019, Bibi and her family have left Pakistan and now reside in Canada.

On 2 March 2011, the only Christian minister in the Pakistan government was shot dead. Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities, was in his car along with his niece. Around 50 bullets struck the car. Over 10 bullets hit Bhatti. Before his death, he had publicly stated that he was not afraid of the Taliban's threats and was willing to die for his faith and beliefs. He was targeted for opposing the anti-free speech "blasphemy" law, which punishes insulting Islam or its Prophet. A fundamentalist Muslim group claimed responsibility.

On 27 March 2016, a suicide bomber from a Pakistani Taliban faction killed at least 60 people and injured 300 others in an attack at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, and the group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it intentionally targeted Christians celebrating Easter Sunday.

wikipedia.org

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