Following recent increases in violence against Christians in Pakistan and other parts of the Middle East, many Christians are feeling increasingly fearful. For some, such as large numbers of Christians in Iraq, the response has been to leave the country entirely. But others are understandably unwilling or unable to leave their homes. For these, there are few options available for ensuring their safety in a hostile climate. As an article in the Toronto Star chronicles, in Pakistan, the anti-blasphemy law is being invoked to settle disputes that may have little to do with the content of religion, other than the fact that one of the parties involved is Christian. In such an environment, some Christians feel that the only way to protect themselves and their families is to convert to Islam. Human rights workers are urging that the blasphemy law be amended to better protect religious minorities, or, at the very least, that the law’s implementation be better regulated, so as to avoid the current abuses.

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