In Pakistan, state schools are a harsh environment for Christians

Light of truth

Noman is a 20 year-old Catholic living in Karachi, Pakistan. In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need he talks about the discrimination and mistreatment he experienced at school because of his Christian faith. Here is Noman’s story:

“I am a first-year student of business. My hobbies include cricket and soccer. I am a Christian. No one in my family has been kidnapped or victimized by violence, but I have faced discrimination from classmates and teachers because of my religion.

“When I reported a Muslim classmate for cheating, the teacher said: ‘He doesn’t cheat. You did it.’ The classmate called me bhangie, which means street sweeper or gutter cleaner; he made fun of me and used words that were disrespectful of my faith. But I could not respond in kind. If I had done so, I could’ve been charged with blasphemy, and my family would have suffered. So I stayed silent.”

“Both my teacher and my principal were well aware of the situation. My mother was called in to speak with my teacher, but they were not ready to listen to my version of what happened. They even refused to give me a form that the school required for exams—so one year of my studies was wasted.”

“But I am thankful to God, who has not abandoned my family. He was there when a friend of my mother’s offered to pay for my education, which my parents could not afford at the time. The happiest moment of my life was when I completed High School; I was the first person to do so in my family.”

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