Pakistani Christians Urge Their Government to Let Them Visit Israel
JNS.org – Pro-Israel Pakistani Christians held a demonstration in Karachi to call on their government to recognize Israel.
A group calling itself the God’s Peoples Fellowship of Pakistan (GPFP) protested outside the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, which marked the May 14 anniversary of Israel’s founding. The protesters called on the Pakistani government to establish diplomatic relations with Israel so that they can make a pilgrimage to the Jewish state.
“Jerusalem is a place where Jesus Christ had borne and died. Visiting there for pilgrimage is our religious right,” Pastor Akram John told Pakistan Today.
Separately, the GPFP also issued a formal declaration to the Pakistani government calling on it to recognize Israel. In 2003, President Pervez Musharaf stated that Pakistan should at least discuss the “Israel issue” with an open mind.
“We are making the demand yet again in view of the larger religious interests of the 10 million Christian people and the teachings of the Bible to enable them to visit the ‘holy land’ of Israel on the Pakistani passport,” GPFP General-Secretary Ashraf P. Butt said.
Butt added that Israel “was a ground reality and a democratic country and it had been recognized by most of the countries.”
Comprising only a small percentage of the country’s population, Christians in Pakistan are routinely attacked by Islamic extremists. A recent report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said that Pakistan “represents the worst situation in the world for religious freedom.”