Pakistani Christians Face Alienation, Discrimination This Christmas

December 24, 2011

By Conor Powell |

ISLAMABAD- In one of Pakistan’s poorest neighborhoods Christmas lights are going up while artists paint holiday scenes on concrete walls. The decorations do little to mask the trash and sewage that litter the ground.

“Life is tough here,” complains Stefan, a 30-year old Christian from one of Islamabad’s largest Christian slums.

As Christmas nears, Pakistan’s roughly three million Christians are preparing for the birth of Jesus after one of their most difficult years ever.

“People are jobless. We are in trouble,” said Stefan who says as security has worsened in Pakistan, many NGOs have left the country –leaving many Pakistani Christians unemployed.

Christians, who make up roughly one percent of the Pakistan’s 170 million people, have long been a poor and a marginalized community.

In recent months though life has become more difficult. As anti-Americanism has spread, Pakistani Christians have been harassed and persecuted by religious extremist who associate them with American and blame them for the US drone strikes.

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