by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Christians in Pakistan have been denied food by authorities since the country’s COVID-19 lockdown began on March 21, Arutz Sheva 7 reports. In four incidents recorded this month by International Christian Concern (ICC) and Jihad Watch, Christians were told food aid was for Muslims only.
An ICC Facebook video shows a Christian man from a community near Lahore explaining he was told to leave a local mosque where food was being distributed. The young man was reportedly informed the food was only for Muslims. He asked on video: “If this is the situation, then what are the arrangements for Christians? Who is going to feed them? Are we not citizens of the same country?”
According to the Arutz Sheva 7 report, Jihad Watch recorded other incidents like this on April 1st and April 7th and April 11th. On this last date, Arutz Sheva 7 describes: “Christians were forced to make the Islamic profession of faith to get food aid.”
Speaking to ICC, Pakistani NGO leader Aftab Hayat said: “Denying food aid and discriminating among citizens is a crime. Christians often face discrimination and are victims of religious hatred. However, the situation for Christians in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis is alarming and becoming worse. Therefore, the authorities must take note of the developing situation.”
ICC states on its website that around 45% of Pakistanis live below the poverty line; the coronavirus lockdown has cut off many of the poorest and most vulnerable from earning daily wages for food. Reports of starvation are already coming in.