Fear has silenced Pakistani Christians - archbishop

December 5, 2011

Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha

Fear has silenced the voice of Pakistani Christians since the political murder of Shahbaz Bhatti last spring, said the retired archbishop of Lahore, Pakistan.

"People are very sad, very bitter.

They said, 'If that happens to him what happens to us?'" Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha said in mid-November.

Bhatti's killers remain at large.

The convicted murderer of Salman Taseer, the former governor of Punjab, was greeted in court with rose petals and garlands.

In an atmosphere of impunity for anyone who kills a Christian, educated Pakistani Christians are getting out of the country.

Those who remain are keeping their heads down and their mouths shut, said Saldanha.

"In such a situation, minorities don't have much place.

Either you convert or you leave.

This is the choice."

Saldanha has moved to Toronto in early November.