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Christian persecution spikes in Pakistan, prompting calls for US to exert pressure

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Violence against Christians is on the rise in Pakistan, where a disturbing trend of attacks by Islamist fanatics has made life inside the U.S. ally hell for religious minorities.

The 97-percent Muslim nation that straddles the Middle East and Asia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for Christians, according to an annual report published last month by the State Department following calls by the U.S. Center for International Religious Freedom to include the country in its list of “Countries of Particular Concern.”

“Pakistan is on record as having one of the world’s worst and most widely abused blasphemy laws, which has resulted in abuse of the law through false accusations that prosper under a system of impunity,” Tiffany Barrans, international legal director for the American Center for Law & Justice, told FoxNews.com. “Blasphemy accusations have resulted not only in the destruction of the lives of the accused but have often been at the root of the destruction of entire Christian communities.”

The State Department’s Oct. 14 International Religious Freedom (IRF) report submitted to Congress said that in 2014, government policies in Pakistan, “did not afford equal protection to members of majority and minority religious groups, and due to discriminatory legislation, minorities often were afraid to profess freely their religious beliefs. Media and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) reported killings of religious minorities by police.”

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