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A series of violent incidents against religious minorities in Pakistan has been condemned by the social justice arm of the nation’s bishops’ conference.

In a statement, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) said that an “alarming increase” in violence has been witnessed over the past few weeks.

“Some of the most recent incidents include the desecration of crosses on the graves in a Christian populated village (Antonioabad) near Okara city. According to a source, on May 12, 2019, when people came for Sunday service, they noticed some crosses on the graves were broken and uprooted. They informed the deacon and following this all the congregation visited the graveyard. They found that the Crosses of 40 graves were vandalized,” the May 29 statement said.

The commission also pointed to the May 14 murder of Javed Masih, a 36-year-old Christian man, by his Muslim employer in a village near Faisalabad.

“He faced religious discrimination at the hands of his Muslim boss and his friends because he decided to switch his job,” the NCJP said.

In a third incident taking place on May 27, a Hindu veterinarian named Ramesh Kumar was accused of blasphemy after a man alleged that he had provided modification wrapped in paper that the man claimed had Quranic verses printed on them.

“Following this, riots broke out in the area and a mob burnt down the doctor’s shop, a cabin that belonged to his brother, and a motorbike,” the statement said, adding that the doctor had a criminal complaint registered against him and was taken into custody for fear of his safety.

Read more at Crux. 

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