Pakistani journalist reportedly quits her job after colleagues ‘rubbish’ her Christian faith & pressure her to convert to Islam
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to include Dunya Group's rebuttal.
The only Christian registered with the Lahore Press Club, Gonila Gill has been working as a journalist for nearly twenty years. Covering health, education and minority rights, her job at Dunya News became a nightmare after she married a Muslim co-worker in 2014. Their marriage led to Gill being criticized at her workplace for not adopting her husband’s religion. The discrimination only grew worse after she gave birth to her first son – who was baptized and named Abraham. Ironically, she recounted, her co-workers had told her that she would never get pregnant until she converted to Islam.
Speaking to local media, the journalist said that her husband never pressed her to change her religion. She also added that her Christian faith remained unshaken, despite the abuse she endured.
People are vile when they talk rubbish about my faith. However, I will not lose hope and remain steadfast in my religion.
She expressed fears that her son will “never have a good future in Pakistan” because of their Christian beliefs.
“I feel insecure and not respected by society,” she said, demanding that the Pakistani government “guarantee protection for families like ours, so that we can live with due respect and dignity.”
Her story was met with outrage on social media, with many citing her experience as proof of widespread religious intolerance in Pakistan.
Persecuted for her faith by colleagues & insulted for not having converted to Islam after marriage, only Christian journalist in #Pakistan, quits job.This is not just the struggle of Gonila Gill, but of Pakistan's minorities.#TuesdayThoughtspic.twitter.com/9W9Xb2AAuJ— Sajeda Akhtar (@Sajeda_Akhtar) November 19, 2019
Dunya News, in a message to RT, has denied the report on Gill's resignation and its circumstances. The email, signed Corporate Affairs Director Mohsin Mukhtar, claims Gill was never an employee of Dunya News to begin with, and instead worked at Urdu-language daily newspaper Roznama Dunya, which is owned by the same person. Furthermore, Mukhtar says, Gill was fired in 2016 "for filing a fabricated and concocted news report, resulting in damage to the organisation’s repute."
"During her stay at Roznama Dunya between 2012 and 2016, she never complained to her immediate supervisor or HR department that she was being harassed at work," the email says, claiming the Dunya Group's "internal system doesn't support" such behavior.
Recently, a Christian girl was reportedly forced to convert to Islam by her school principal. In another incident from August, a Sikh girl was allegedly abducted and forced to marry a Muslim man in Pakistan.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!