South Asia's Religious Minorities
At the end of January, prominent parliamentarians, government officials, civil society activists, and journalists from across South Asia gathered for a South Asian Forum for Minorities, organized by The Asia Foundation's Pakistan Religious Freedom Initiative and supported by Canada's Office of Religious Freedom. The forum addressed the challenges facing minority religious communities in South Asia and culminated with a "call to action" to SAARC leaders. From Pakistan, Nadia Tariq-Ali blogs this week on perspectives from participants, including Philip Calvert, Canadian ambassador to Thailand, who says: "About 77 percent of the world's population lives in countries with high restrictions on religion. Discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities causes suffering, spreads divisions, and contributes to a climate of fear." Read more.