Pakistani court ruling aims to publicly identify all religious minorities

By Naila Inayat

LAHORE, Pakistan (RNS) – A high court in majority-Muslim Pakistan has ruled that citizens must declare their religious affiliation before joining the civil service, military or judiciary. All birth certificates, identity cards, passports and voting lists must also indicate the person’s faith.

The judgment, a victory for hard-line clerics pressuring the state to single out minorities in their midst, adds that all Muslim candidates for national or provincial assemblies must swear that Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was the last of God’s prophets.

This has spread fear among Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other religious minorities already under pressure in the South Asian nation. Ahmadis, who believe another Muslim prophet came after Muhammad, feel especially targeted because they could not take the parliamentary oath.

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