The death penalty has been reinstated in Pakistan after seven years. According to WORLD magazine, the decision to reinstate capital punishment poses a risk to religious minorities, as the nation’s justice system is often unfair.
A government reportedly said that capital punishment would be applied “strictly as per law and only where all legal options and avenues have been exhausted and mercy petitions… have been rejected by the president.”
Crimes that could warrant the death penalty include adultery, apostasy and blasphemy.
WORLD reports that false blasphemy accusations are often used to take revenge on others.
Open Doors USA advocacy director Kristin Wright said the change is “deeply concerning” because it “will put a lot of Christians at risk.”
Pakistan was already ranked eighth on Open Doors’ World Watch List for Christian persecution, and currently has 8,000 people on death row.
Publication date: March 17, 2015