In Pakistan, education holds the key for Christian advancement in society
Interview with Bishop Shukardin
by Joop Koopman
BISHOP SAMSON SHUKARDIN, OFM, heads the Diocese of Hyderabad, one of Pakistan’s seven dioceses. It is home to 60,000 Christians, half of whom are tribal people. The diocese operates 56 schools, accommodating more than 13,000 students. Christians and other minorities in Pakistan face a range of challenges from fundamentalist religious groups. Bishop Shukardin spoke with Aid to the Church in Need on a recent visit to the US.
What has been the impact of the acquittal of Asia Bibi and her permission to subsequently leave the country?
The release of Asia Bibi is a big credit for the government. Pakistan’s Christians are very grateful to the present government. But there are a number of other cases like hers, but which do not draw the same publicity. This remains a big issue in the country. In the last 20-plus years, there have been more than 1500 cases of individuals charged under the blasphemy law, many of them from Muslim minority groups.
Bishop Samson Shukardin, OFM Diocese of Hyderabad (Pakistan) Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need