Pakistani Christians shout slogans during a protest regarding anti-Christian violence in Lahore, in this file photo. (Photo by AFP)
The Catholic Church’s human rights body in Pakistan says it holds a government school responsible for the recent killing of a 17-year-old Christian student.
Sheron Masih, a ninth grader, was killed on Aug. 30 by Muslim classmates in a state-run school in Burewala, in Punjab province for allegedly drinking water from glass meant for Muslims.
In a class of 70 students, Masih was the only Christian.
The church’s rights body, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP),
Masih faced bullying and taunts from classmates on the very first day he started at the school and which intensified on the day of his death, the church’s rights body, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), said in a Sept 12.
"Discrimination and the negligence of school authorities killed Sheron Masih," the statement said.
"It is unfortunate to observe that the government of Pakistan seems more concerned with infrastructure of schools and physical security of the buildings rather than the qualitative aspect of the education system. We and our children are living in a society where hatred, discrimination, bullying and ill feeling towards caste, creed, religion and social status is ingrained amongst pupils."
The rights body expressed deep concern over the level of "extreme negligence" by the school authorities.
"While we definitely need curriculum reforms in order to promote a more tolerant and peace-loving society, teachers also need to be given adequate training on dealing with issues of intolerance that plagues our society today," the statement said.