Christians represent about 3% of Pakistan’s population of 190 million people. Many among them are descendants of “untouchables’ (the lowest level of the Hindu cast system) who have been converted during the British presence in India.
In Pakistan, where 95% of the population is Muslim, minorities are exposed to multiple forms of discrimination. Many Christians perform menial tasks like street sweeping or sewer cleaning. In Islamabad, most of them live in the Colonies, sort of slums or poor neighborhoods which are not always provided with the basic services like water and sanitation. Catholics, Protestants or Orthotodox Christians often celebrate Sunday Mass in overcrowded makeshift Churches.
In the recent years, many people have been killed by angry mobs or vigilantes on the suspicion of blasphemy. The Blasphemy law in Pakistan prohibits blaphemy against any religion, and whoever is accused of it, could be subject to jail or death penalty. However Rights activists denounced this law as regularely used to persecute minorities.