A drunken Muslim mob in Pakistan stormed the homes of Christians and beat men, women and children because they deemed the Christian residents to be "ritually impure."
As the systematic persecution of Christians in Pakistan continues to increase across the country and the situation shows no signs of improvement, the London-based charity British Pakistani Christian Association reports that a small group of Muslim men in the Faisalabad district physically beat at least seven Christians in the town of Samundri last Friday.
The inebriated men were reportedly being loud and obnoxious as they walked down the residential streets of Samundri. After a Christian woman asked them to quiet down and told them they were disturbing the peace in the neighborhood, they were enraged by "the audacity of 'ritually impure' Christians making demands on them," BPCA reports.
The drunk Muslim men gathered up at least a dozen of their friends and grabbed sticks, metal rods and other assorted weapons and returned to attack the Christian residents.
Upon returning to the neighborhood, the mob stormed the Christians' homes and indiscriminately beat them without regard for whether they were attacking men, women or children, according to BPCA.
Not only did the Muslim mob physically and verbally assault Christians, they also insulted Jesus Christ, even though He is also a prophet in the Quran.
Seven victims were injured in the attack, five of whom had to go to the hospital to receive treatment for their injuries.
Among those injured are 48-year-old Arif Masih, 40-year-old Parveen Akhtar, 42-year-old Akram Masih, 50-year-old Jamaal Masih, 35-year-old Sharifaan Bibi, 34-year-old Shahzad Masih and 35-year-old Zahid Masih.
"I had returned from work and we were enjoying some rest as we waited for our food to be prepared. A group of drunk Muslims came and were shouting loudly and saying lewd things to any young girls that were passing," Arif Masih told BPCA officer Kanwal Amar, who visited with the victims in the hospital and at their homes to provide counseling and support.
"My wife asked them to leave the area as they were disturbing locals and they started shouting obscenities at us, but left shortly after," Masih continued. "About and hour later they returned with a gang of around 15 people and started beating us with sticks and poles. They said all Christians should be killed. They said we were evil demons and made Pakistan impure. I thought I and my family would be killed. It was very frightening."
When Amar first arrived, he noticed that no report had been filed by police in response to the incident even though there were eyewitness accounts and visible injuries as evidence. Amar later visited the police station in Samundri with a couple local village leaders to urge police to seek justice for the abused Christians.
After providing overwhelming evidence, Deputy Superintendent Malik Shahid finally registered a police report.
As police have begun questioning suspects, BPCA reports that the severity of the injuries sustained by the Christians will determine the severity of the charges leveled against the Muslim men. However, there are no X-ray machines at Samundri hospital, which means that there will be a bit of a wait until results can come back from Faisalabad General Hospital.
"To many, this attack just seems to be an act of drunken violence. But the manner of the insults directed at these innocent Christians, evidences their lowly status," Armar said in a statement to BPCA. "I believe most Muslims in Pakistan hold a deep hatred for Christians that is easy to evoke just by a Christian being in their presence. Fear of an attack is an ever present fear in the minds of all Christians living here and our government is doing little to change this."
Pakistan ranks as the sixth worst country in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians, according to Open Doors USA's World Watch List.
As Christians comprise only 4 million of the nation's 199 million total population, they are often victimized through accusations of blasphemy, bonded labor agreements, beatings and the systematic kidnapping and forced marriage of Christians girls.
The BPCA is instrumental in helping provide shelter, aid and other means of support to persecuted Christian families across Pakistan. The organization is also accepting online donations to fund their efforts.
The BPCA has also launched a petition calling on the British government and other foreign governments that give aid to Pakistan to have greater accountability for how their foreign aid dollars are being spent.
According to BPCA Chairman Wilson Chowdhry, the U.K. government gives Pakistan over £225 million that are meant to go to "holistic educational reform."
However, it was reported last month that The National Commission for Justice and Peace found that Pakistani school textbooks are filled with language that incites hatred towards Christians and religious minorities.
"The deep-rooted and festering malice towards Christians in Pakistan means that they are constantly living on the edge, waiting to be the next victims," Chowdhry said in a statement. "As a U.K. taxpayer, I am disgusted that Britain continues to fund Pakistan through foreign aid — especially the 225 million meant for holistic educational reform. The national curriculum in Pakistan continues to espouse hatred towards minorities, the result of which, is a worsening social pariah status for Christians in particular and other minorities."