UCA News

Pakistani press club faces threats over Christian journalists

Four members accused of working against Islam

Pakistani press club faces threats over Christian journalists

Christian members of the Quetta Press Club say they were threatened by a militant organization over the weekend (Photo supplied)

Published: February 18, 2015 08:45 AM GMT

Updated: April 23, 2015 07:19 PM GMT

A militant group in Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province has threatened a press club with “action” unless it expels its Christian journalists, club authorities said.

Fidayan-e-Islam, a little-known militant group, sent a letter to the Quetta Press Club on Saturday, accusing Christian journalists of preaching Christianity through an unnamed TV channel.

“You call yourself faithful Muslims, while under your watch Christian journalists are working against Islam,” the letter, written in the Urdu language, stated.

The letter named four Christian photojournalists who are members of the press club, accusing at least one of converting Muslim youth. The letter goes on to warn press club authorities that Fidayan-e-Islam would “initiate action” if they did not expel the Christian journalists.

Two of the Christian journalists named in the letter confirmed its contents to ucanews.com and said they had never attempted to preach Christianity in their work.

“There is no truth in what has been claimed in the letter,” James, who uses a single name and is one of the targeted journalists, told ucanews.com.

Abdul Khalid Rind, Quetta Press Club’s general secretary, said local police have said they will conduct a thorough probe into the threat.

Irfan Saeed, president of the Balochistan Union of Journalists, denounced the threats against media professionals and decried the worsening situation for press freedom in the province.

“Baluchistan has become the most dangerous province for working journalists in Pakistan. Forty journalists have been killed in acts of violence during the last 10 years,” he told ucanews.com.

Saeed said journalists in the province often find themselves caught in the middle, facing threats from both sectarian groups as well as Baluch separatists.

“When we don’t report activities of banned militant outfits, we face threats from them, and if we do we have to face court cases,” he said, adding that nine cases have been lodged against working journalists in Baluchistan in anti-terrorism courts.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
November begins with the Feast of All Saints. That month will mark the beginning of a new UCA News series, Saints of the New Millenium, that will profile some of Asia’s saints, “ordinary” people who try to live faithfully amid the demands of life in our time.
Perhaps the closest they will ever come to fame will be in your reading about them in UCA News. But they are saints for today. Let their example challenge and encourage you to live your own sainthood.
Your contribution will help us present more such features and make a difference in society by being independent and objective.
A small donation of US$5 a month would make a big difference in our quest to achieve our goals.
William J. Grimm
UCA News

Share your comments

Latest News

Asian Dioceses
Asian Pilgrim Centers
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia