Fearful Pakistani Christians make home in forest

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ISLAMABAD (AP) – In the middle of a forest in Pakistan‘s capital, about 100 Christians are sleeping on the ground and building a church out of branches after fleeing their neighborhood when a Christian girl was accused of burning pages from the Quran.

The case has drawn attention to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws which can result in life in prison or even death for those accused.

Much of the case is still in question including the girl’s age, whether she was mentally impaired and what exactly she was burning. But as word of the blasphemy accusation spread, hundreds of people gathered at her house demanding that something be done to the girl. The police eventually arrested her and are investigating whether she broke any law.

Most Christians in the neighborhood fled fearing retribution from their Muslim neighbors or were evicted by their landlords. Critics say Pakistan’s blasphemy law is often abused to settle vendettas or as retribution.

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