Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
“Jesus Christ” among words banned from t...

Email:

“Jesus Christ” among words banned from text messages in Pakistan for being "false, fabricated, indecent or obscene"

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

“Jesus Christ” among words banned from text messages in Pakistan for being "false, fabricated, indecent or obscene"

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Pakistan

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has banned “Jesus Christ” from use in text messages, among a list of terms deemed “false, fabricated, indecent or obscene”.

phone_4X3.jpg

The PTA wrote to Pakistani mobile phone companies on 14 November ordering them to start blocking messages containing nearly 1,700 banned words and expressions. The letter accompanying the dictionary of terms said that the move was legal under the Pakistan Telecommunication Act (1996), which prohibits people from transmitting messages that are “false, fabricated, indecent or obscene”. It also stated that free speech can be restricted “in the interest of the glory of Islam”.

Christians have reacted angrily to the inclusion of “Jesus Christ” on the list, which features obscenities and sexual references.

Joseph Dias, general secretary of a South Asian Christian human rights group, said:

One wonders why gods of other religions have not been mentioned in the list and Christians, who are already facing persecution in Pakistan, have been singled out for such treatment.

Screening was meant to begin within seven days of the letter, but this has been deferred after the move was met with widespread derision and a threat of legal action.

The Pakistani campaign group Bytes For All (BFA) said that it will challenge the PTA’s order in court, describing it as “a new, ruthless wave of moral policing” that violated rights to free speech and privacy.

The BFA also said:

If such a thing happened in any other country, there would be an outrage already and if it was directed (mistakenly or intentionally) towards Muslims, the amount of outrage would be uncontrollable.

The PTA has previously blocked websites deemed pornographic or offensive to Islam, but this is its first attempt to censor text messages. A spokesman for the PTA said the ban was a reaction to consumers’ complaints of receiving offensive text messages.

It is the latest insult to Pakistani Christians, who are severely persecuted and marginalised because of their faith.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

The inclusion of the name of Jesus Christ within this list of offensive words is another example of the intense hatred that resonates within Pakistan towards Christians.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

“Jesus Christ” among words banned from text messages in Pakistan for being "false, fabricated, indecent or obscene"

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Taliban militants attempted to attack a Christian-run day-care centre in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 28 March, saying it was “a church used to convert Muslims to Christianity”. The attackers mistakenly targeted the next-door building, which houses workers on an agricultural and de-mining project, instead; two Afghan civilians, one a young girl, died in the crossfi re. All five Taliban bombers were also killed in the raid on the heavily-secured compound. The day-care centre that they were attempting to target, which is used by expatriates, is said to hold Christian worship services on certain days. Ask the Lord to change the hearts of those who plan and carry out terrorist attacks against Christians and other targets in Afghanistan; pray that they will turn instead to Him. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 22 hours ago

    • “He was always a light for Christ and he had a love and commitment that he expressed for the Afghan people because of that love for Christ.” The widow of Dr Jerry Umanos, an American doctor who was shot dead at the Christian-run hospital where he worked in Kabul, Afghanistan, spoke of her husband’s faith and ministry. Two visiting American Christians, father and son Gary and John Gabel, were also killed on 24 April when an Afghan security guard opened fire on the staff he was meant to be protecting. Pray for comfort for the grieving families of the three men, and ask the Lord to safeguard the future of the hospital, which provides much-needed medical care and also trains Afghan doctors and nurses. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “We ask all Christians and members of other faiths to reconsider their own beliefs and join Hinduism.” Krishna Hari Baskota, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister in Nepal, was speaking about the application process for a new identity card that will show citizens’ religious affiliation. Christians and members of other minorities will be subjected to greater scrutiny before obtaining the official documents and will be asked to reiterate their faith. One Christian rights activist said that the government is trying to discourage people from converting from Hinduism. Pray that the Nepalese authorities will not discriminate against Christians but will treat them on equal terms with the Hindu majority. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Lift up to the Lord a group of Christians in Pali village, Jharkhand state, India, who were attacked by Hindu extremists on two consecutive days in an effort to force them to convert to Hinduism. On 4 March, the offenders stormed into the home of Pastor Tilas Bedia, beat the Christians present and threatened to kill them if they continued to follow Christ. The following morning, a mob dragged 15 Christians from their homes, told them to convert back to Hinduism and beat them. The pastor and two others were paraded half-naked to the outskirts of the village. Adding insult to injury, a case of forcible conversion was subsequently registered against the pastor and three other Christians. Pray that the Lord will give them all the strength to stand firm in the face of such opposition. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Christians in the village of Gudrikia, Kandhamal district, who lost their church building in the 2008 anti-Christian riots in Orissa state, India. Earlier this year, they planned to rebuild the church, and on 11 March, they took the stones they had bought to the site to start the work. But they were blocked by a group of Hindu fundamentalists, who threatened them. The previous church building had been burnt down, and the land where it once stood is now used by Hindus for farming. The latest incident highlights the ongoing hostility towards Christians in the area. Pray that the Lord will soften the hearts of Hindu extremists in India, and that they will allow Christians to practise their faith in freedom and peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Jul 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks