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Pope Benedict has asked governments to do more to ensure Christians can practice their faith without discrimination or violence.

He also called on Pakistan to repeal its anti-blasphemy laws.

Pope Benedict used his annual address to ambassadors to the Holy See to lobby for religious freedoms for Christians living in majority-Muslim countries.

Citing the recent attack on a Coptic Church in Egypt and the 46 people killed at a church in Iraq, the pontiff insisted Christians deserve to have their safety and civil rights protected.

In a rare move, he used his platform to demand that Pakistan change its blasphemy laws, which carry the death sentence for insulting Islam.

He said the laws were a pretext for violence against non-Muslims. ABC

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