WASHINGTON — As over 100 Pakistani Christians were arrested in mid-March following the lynching of two Muslim men wrongly thought to be involved in two earlier church bombings that killed 17, some 30 prisoners have been released and show clear signs of being abused and tortured by the police.
International Christian Concern, a leading Christian persecution watchdog and advocacy organization, announced at a Tuesday press conference held to discuss the rise of Christian persecution in Pakistan, that 30 of the 111 Christian men and boys detained by police in the Lahore suburb of Youhanabad following the lynching have been released from jail.
With their release, it has come to light that those imprisoned in connection to the lynchings were subject to torture and merciless beatings by police officers in an attempt to extract confessions out of them. more >>
Two local young Muslims going for Friday prayers to their mosque in Pakistan's Lahore city beat up and set fire to a 14-year-old Christian boy after stopping him and asking his religious affiliation, according to a Christian group.
The victim, identified only as Nuaman, is being treated at Meo Hospital in Lahore in Punjab province, according to a Christian group, The Voice Society, in Pakistan. He has burns covering more than 55 percent of his body.
The Christian boy was coming from a tailor's shop when he was attacked. It was time for Muslim prayers on Friday when the incident happened. more >>
The brother of a Pakistani human rights lawyer who is defending the family of two teen Christian girls, who were gang raped in the middle of the night last December by five Muslim men, was shot by an enraged Muslim after consistently refusing to settle on a court-avoiding legal compromise.
Pervaiz Gill, the brother of attorney Sadar Mushtaq Gill, was shot in the back last Wednesday in Kasur after declining multiple times to agree on a legal settlement in the court case brought forth by the Christian teens' father, Ilyas Masih, the British Pakistani Christian Association reported.
Masih is seeking justice for his two daughters, Sherish and Farzana, who were abducted from outside their home last Dec. 3 and were gang raped by a group of Muslim men. The two girls were found lying unconscious the next morning along the roadside several miles away from their home village of Jaranwala. more >>
The Anti Terrorism Court in Lahore, Pakistan, has indicted 16 Christians who it says were responsible for the killing and burning of two terror suspects believed to have been involved in the March 15 suicide-bombing of two churches in Youhanabad, which killed 17 people. Non-profit groups have meanwhile highlighted that women and children are among the 90 or so critically injured churchgoers that need urgent help.
Fides News Agency reported that while 16 Christians have been accused of murdering the two Muslim suspects, another 12 have also been indicted for damage to state property in the riots following the attack on the churches.
These numbers are down from the 100 or so people who were detained last week following the riots. more >>
Over 100 Christians have been arrested for the riots in Pakistan last week following a Taliban suicide attack on two churches that killed 17 people. Police forces have been arresting people who were part of the crowd that killed and burned two people suspected to be terrorists.
"We first established identity of the suspects through TV footages, still cameras and other relevant sources before laying hand on them," a senior investigation officer said, according to The Hindu, confirming that more than 100 Christian protesters have been arrested.
Two suicide bomb blasts hit the Christ Church and Catholic Church of Youhanabad Christian Colony on March 15, killing 17 people. A Pakistani Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the attack, which left another 80 people injured. more >>
NEW YORK — A former Pakistani parliamentarian advocating for equal treatment for religious minorities back home claims life is sometimes hell for the Islamic Republic's Christian minorities, who are often victimized by blasphemy laws and bear the brunt of public resentment against Western nations like the United States.
"Due to our faith, we are persecuted. People are killing us, people are burning us, and people are putting us in jail. And (the) state (has) failed to protect the rights (of Christians) and (have failed in) their responsibility," said political and human rights activist Pervez Rafique. "The state doesn't have any solid and concrete policy and agenda and plan to protect marginalized and persecuted Christians and other non-Muslims in Pakistan."
Rafique, a former minority member of parliament representing the Pakistan People's Party in Punjab, worked alongside Shahbaz Bhatti, the Christian minorities minister who was assassinated in 2011, as a chief coordinator for All Pakistan Minorities Alliance. At the time of transition prompted by Bhatti's murder, a clash with the former leader's family members forced Rafique and supporters to leave the organization he had served for more than 10 years. Since then, Rafique has helped found another group, with a similar name, the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance-Founders, which in combination with the PAK Christian Fellowship, represents around 25,000 people, he told The Christian Post. more >>