In blow to minorities, Pakistani court orders citizens to declare religion

By Saad Sayeed | Reuters

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – A Pakistani court ruled on Friday that all citizens must declare their religion when applying for identity documents, a move human rights advocates say is another blow for the country’s persecuted minority communities.

The ruling will pile further pressure on the Ahmadi community, who are not allowed to call themselves Muslim or use Islamic symbols in their religious practices, a crime punishable under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

The Islamabad High Court ruled that citizens who disguised their religious affiliation were guilty of betraying the state and ordered that anyone applying for government jobs should declare their faith.

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