Pakistani Christians told: convert or die

I could crack open a 50 pound can o’ worms with this one, but I won’t. Worms are probably haram.

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.

They’ll bear blame or get credit? Depends on who you ask and when, most likely.

Man, this is just like the story I read yesterday about those Baptists who were threatening schools in Thailand.

Ah, my bad. Apparently they weren’t Baptists.

More than 3,000 policemen are on guard in about 1,000 government schools in Thailand’s Muslim south as the new school year begins on Wednesday. Seen as a symbol of “Buddhist” Bangkok, the schools – and the teachers – have been the preferred targets of the Islamic rebels fighting for independence of the Muslim majority southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani.

The last school that was attacked was an elementary school in Bangasod, in the district of Bannang Sata, in Yala, which was burnt to the ground last Sunday.

No one was killed in the incident but according to local news reports, at least 50 teachers have been killed in the three provinces since January 2004 and a total of at least 2,100 people have died in over three years of violence.

I know what confused me. Silly me. I was thinking about those violent Presbyterians. Nasty bunch, always threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the world and all.

Oh, darn it. I got it wrong again. I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me tonight.

I really ought to just quit blogging right now. I can’t keep all these religions straight anymore. I mean, they’re all basically the same, right?