No Compulsion In Religion Alert: “Taliban Tells Pakistani Christians: Convert or Die,” from AP, with thanks to all who sent this in:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan “” Christians in a Pakistani town beset by pro-Taliban militants sought government protection Wednesday, the eve of a deadline for them to convert to Islam or face violence.
About 500 Pakistani Christians in Charsadda, a town in the North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, received letters earlier this month telling them to close their churches and convert by Thursday or be the target of “bomb explosions.”
Several Christians, a tiny minority in the predominantly Muslim country, have fled town and others are living in fear, community leaders said.
Some complained that police were not taking the threat seriously.
“Police say someone is joking with us by writing these letters,” Chaudhry Salim, a Charsadda Christian leader, said during a news conference in Islamabad. “They have deployed only two policemen at our churches … this is the kind of security we are getting now.”
Shahbaz Bhatti, a prominent Christian leader and head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, said the provincial government, which is controlled by a coalition of pro-Taliban religious parties, would bear blame for attacks after the deadline.