Anglican leader says minorities in Pakistan ‘under siege’

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Lahore: The spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans urged Pakistan to treat all people equally during a trip designed to show his support for the embattled Christian community, saying many felt “under siege”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury arrived in Pakistan to meet Muslim and Anglican leaders at a time when Christians feel under attack from both authorities and their Muslim neighbors due to Pakistan’s oppressive blasphemy laws.

“There is a considerable sense of anxiety, of being under siege,” Justin Welby, a former oil executive, told Reuters outside a church in the eastern city of Lahore.

Rights activists say a spike in the number of blasphemy cases in Pakistan is evidence of rising intolerance in the mainly Sunni Muslim South Asian state of 180 million people.