December 23, 2011
Extreme power outages have become routine during the Christmas and Easter seasons in Pakistan despite repeated protests by the Christian community, ASSIST News Service reports. Since the current government came into power, "prolonged [lack of power] has affected Christmas celebrations, prayer meetings, and day-to-day life of Christians," said human rights activist Ashfaq Fateh. "Due to lack of electricity, poor Christian workers do not get their wages and they are deprived of buying ration and clothes for their families." Rasheed Jalal, district president of the Pakistan Muslim League for the minorities' wing, said: "Every year when Christmas and Easter comes, the government extends power outages; Christians across the country protest, but the government never listen to their peaceful protests." Youth leader Johnson Gill said, "If the government will not ensure non-stop supply of electricity, Christians will organize Christmas celebrations and prayers in front of [government] offices in protest."