Under God’s protection
Limited to the most degrading jobs, from sweepers to brick kiln workers, living for the majority in slums among the cities, victims of false accusations of blasphemy, the life of the Pakistani Christians is a real way of the cross. Their day-to-day life has become all the more difficult with the spread of covid-19 and the successive lockdowns.
In the Joseph Colony, a Christian ghetto north of Lahore, families are slowly recovering from the trauma of March 9 th , 2013. As a result of the accusations of blasphemy towards a young man of the community, a Muslim mob attacked the slum, looting and burning most houses. Three hundred kms up north, in Islamabad, 8 000 Christians live in the French Colony, a slum made up of a hundred houses surrounded by the ambassadors’ villas, with no access to drinking water, which has become a drug dealing hub in the capital
There are 3 million Christians in Pakistan, representing 1,5 % of the population. In this young country which is less than 80 years old, initially created as a promised land for the Indian Muslims, now facing the rise of religious extremism, all Christians are living with one fear: being accused of blasphemy which is punished by death penalty. A lot of them fear to be wrongly accused by jealous colleagues or intolerant neighbours. Running away from those living conditions, 10 000 Christians currently live in Thaïland, in small apartments in the Bangkok suburbs, waiting for the help of the UNHCR.