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Pakistan: Only Christian journalist registered with Lahore Press Club quits after being harassed for not converting to Islam

When the discrimination started against Gonila, she says first they harassed her for not converting to Islam and then, in the beginning, they harassed her for not having a child. Her colleagues had told her that she will not be able to have a child unless she converts to Islam.

In a shocking, yet expected case of religious intolerance, Thirty-eight-year-old Christian journalist Gonila Gill, married to Husnain Jamil has quit Pakistan media house Dunya News after being harassed by her colleagues for her religion. According to reports, Gill was harassed by her colleagues for not converting to Islam after marrying her husband Jamil.

Gonila Gill who has now had to resign from Dunya News owing to the mental torture her colleagues put her through from not converting to Islam was the only Christian journalist registered with the Lahore Press Club.

Speaking to the media, Gill said people are vile, but no matter what she will not lose faith in her religion.

Read: Pakistan has no moral right on Kashmir, first provide same rights to own ethnic minorities: Pakistan minority leader Nadeem Nusrat

Speaking to Asia News, Christian journalist from Pakistan, Gonila Gill said, “Received from God the gift of an honest husband, respectful of me and our son who we chose to baptize as a Christian. I am very grateful to him because he helps me and takes care of me, although he is also forced to endure the cruelty of people. He supports my son and I in our Christian life. He often comes to mass with us and participates in prayers. I am lucky to be surrounded by people who love me, my friends who support me ”. At the same time, she adds, “I feel a sense of insecurity in living in this society, and I am very worried about my son’s future”.

According to Asia News, Gonila and Jamil first met at the office and then married in secret in 2014. In 2015, however, they had their grand wedding at a Church. Both families had decided not to impose their faith on each other and hence, Gonila had not converted to Islam after marriage. They had also decided to raise their son as a Baptized Christian.

When the discrimination started against Gonila, she says first they harassed her for not converting to Islam and then, in the beginning, they harassed her for not having a child. Her colleagues had told her that she will not be able to have a child unless she converts to Islam.

Read: It is considered as an achievement to convert a Hindu to Islam: Report of Members of the European Parliament on religious minorities in Pakistan

She says, “Jesus blessed us with the birth of a son”. At that moment new harassment arose because the community wanted the child to take the religion of the father, Islam. Instead, Gonila and Husnain decided to baptize him and call him Abraham. “I don’t care what people say about me, the only thing that matters is that I am happy with my wife and my son”, says the husband.

After being harassed first for not converting, then for not having a child, then, for raising her son as a Christian, Gonila finally decided to quit Dunya News after persistent mental torture.

Pakistan has been a hub of religious intolerance with several cases of forced conversion, rapes, murders and abductions of minorities.

Recently, a Christian girl in Pakistan was forced to convert to Islam by her teacher. A few days back, a 19-year-old Sikh girl was allegedly kidnapped and forced to marry a Muslim man in Pakistan. The incident attracted widespread condemnation as Punjab CM Amarinder Singh slammed Pakistan PM Imran Khan for not ensuring the safety of minorities in Pakistan. In fact, several Hindus girls are often abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and then married off.

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