Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An embattled minority: Christians in Pakistan

3:03pm, EDT

Nathalie Bardou / AP
Pakistani Christians chant prayers during Sunday Mass at a church in a Christian neighborhood in Islamabad on Sept. 2.
In the wake of the international furor over the case of a young and reportedly mentally handicapped Christian girl arrested in Pakistan after she was accused of insulting Islam, AP photographer Nathalie Bardou took a closer look at the Christian community in Pakistan through the lens of a Christian neighborhood in Islamabad, the capital city. 
 EDITOR'S NOTE: These images were received by NBC News on Sept. 6.

Nathalie Bardou / AP
Soraya Zafar, 30, hangs an image of Jesus and Mary on the wall of her home before her house receives blessing from the local parish priest.
Christians are believed to make up two to three percent of Pakistan's population of 190 million people, and many face daily discrimination and hold low-level jobs, such as street sweeping. They often live in slums and celebrate their religion in humble, makeshift churches. 

Nathalie Bardou / AP
Pakistanis pass a cross on a sign in a Christian neighborhood in Islamabad on Aug. 30.

Nathalie Bardou / AP
Nazia Mansoor, 26, wears a cross around her neck as she adjusts her hair at her home on Sept. 3.

Nathalie Bardou / AP
Pakistani men and children attend Sunday Mass on Sept. 2.

Nathalie Bardou / AP
Pakistani Christians perform their daily prayers on a rooftop on Sept. 2.

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