Tolerance seems to be in short supply in Pakistan these days. In the self-proclaimed "land of the pure," a cleric last month accused a mentally disabled teenage girl of burning the Quran, sending her to jail and raising the possibility of the death penalty. This week, in a strange twist, the cleric was accused of fabricating the case, and now the charges may be dropped. All the same, the hubbub has brought much attention to a previously ignored segment of Pakistani society -- Christians.
About 1.5 percent of Pakistanis identify as Christian -- a little less than 3 million people. Although some Pakistani Christians have risen to prominence in business and government, many have been politically and economically marginalized. They have faced worsening persecution over the last 30 years, with terrorist attacks on churches and schools killing dozens since 1989. Despite the violence, many have continued to practice their faith.
Above, Pakistan Christians attend an Easter Sunday service at the Sacred Heart Church in Lahore on April 8, 2012.
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