Cardinal Joseph Coutts is Archbishop Emeritus of Karachi, Pakistan. It was during a trip to Rome that he gave an interview to the news agency Crux on October 18, 2021, discussing extensively the situation of Christians in his country.
The senior prelate evokes the growing Islamization of his country, with the establishment of school programs increasingly hostile to the Christian minority:
“Many Muslims see us as the devil, or a product of colonialism. If something happens against Islam in the West, for example, God forbid, a case of blasphemy somewhere, we are on hot coals here, because that means one more church that will be attacked, and Christians will be brutally murdered. “
Cardinal Coutts rejects the idea that the Catholics in his country are not true Pakistanis: “We are not migrants, be careful. We belong to the country as much as do Muslims, Hindus, and everyone else, as the founder [of Pakistan], Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was a contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru, recalled.”
Saudi Arabia’s influence in the country is also singled out: “now even the most moderate Muslims are radicalizing, taking inspiration from Saudi Arabia, because we get a lot of money from the Saudis,” explains the cardinal.
It was Saudi Arabia, the United States and the European Union that created the Taliban
When told about the West, especially the United States and the European Union, the Archbishop Emeritus of Karachi is more accusatory, calling them “duplicitous” and “hypocritical.”
And Bishop Coutts recalled that “the first time that a church was attacked in Pakistan, it was a week after the U.S. Marines started bombing Afghanistan with B52 bombers and television images showed tens of thousands of refugees who started to cross the border, crying women and children.”
“With us, everyone was shocked. Two young people armed with automatic rifles then broke into a church one Sunday in Pakistan, outright slaughtering the Christians who were praying there. We’ve never had that happen before.”
For the high prelate, there is no doubt: “it was Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the European Union that created the Taliban.” And to conclude with lucidity:
“The Americans intervened in Afghanistan in 2001, believing that by force they could solve everything, spend billions to create an Afghan National Army, not realizing that it is a many centuries old tribal society, where the first loyalty of the young men you recruit and pay is not to a nation, but their ethnicity.”
A senior Pakistani prelate points to the action of the United States and the European Union in the Middle East, accusing them of “duplicity” and “hypocrisy,” making them partly responsible for the persecutions suffered by Christians in the region.3