MULTAN, Pakistan: The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Rights & Minorities Affairs, the Government of the Punjab, organized a seminar in Multan on Wednesday, that demanded early passage of progressive legislation “Christian Marriage and Divorce Act, 2019”.
The Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Ijaz Alam Augustine was the Chief Guest while the CSJ Executive Director Peter Jacob was the keynote speaker.
Speaking on the occasion, Ejaz Alam Augustine said that the government is open to build consensus and incorporate actionable recommendations to address the issues relating to Christian marriages. He said that the government would pass Christian Marriage and Divorce Bill once there is considerable consensus among Christian denominations on all clauses of the proposed law. However, he added that, the legislation is imperative to help make the processes easy and streamlined and contribute to reduce the sufferings faced by Christian Community, and protecting family life of Christian Community.
Peter Jacob said, “The proposed government law regulates issues relating to marriage and divorce of Christians. It neither makes any intervention in religious law, nor affect the religious beliefs of particular churches or does not impinges upon right of religious denominations to impose their own particular laws on their followers.”
“There is a need to repeal 145 years old matrimonial laws i.e. Christian Marriage Act, 1972 and Christian Divorce Act, 1869, and introduce a comprehensive law that is in compliant with human rights standards, and has a potential to contribute to effectively address the needs and challenges relating to Christian marriages,” he added.
The seminar was joined by religious leaders, lawyers, educationists and members of civil society groups including notable figures; Father Yaqub Farooq, Father Jamshed Albert, Father Yousaf Sohan, Pastor Munawar Gill, Pastor Elli Azhar, Pastor Sorab William Younas, Hanif Lal, Tasbeeta Saqib Advocate, Allah Dad Khan Advocate, Hanif Masih Advocate, Zickeriya Youhana Advocate, Sarfraz Clement and Shazar Gill.