Pakistan

School principal, Saleema Bibi abducts Christian student, Faiza taking her to Islamic madrasa to forcibly convert her to Islam in Pakistan [#ForcedConversion #ChristianAbduction #PakistanPersecution]

A school principal in Pakistan is accused of abducting a Christian student and taking her to an Islamic madrasa to forcibly convert her to Islam.

The girl’s father, Mukhtar Masih, filed a complaint at a local police station in the Punjab province after his daughter, 15-year-old Faiza, did not come home from school.

According to Mukhtar Masih, the family contacted the school to ask where their daughter was. It was then that the class teacher told them that the Principal of the school, Saleema Bibi, had taken Faiza to a nearby Islamic madrasa to be converted to Islam.

School principal abducted 15-yo Christian girl in forced Islamic conversion, father says:
Christian Post

Pakistan’s foreign minister has sought to dismiss accusations of Christian persecution, claiming there were “individual incidents” comparable to knife crime in the UK.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, speaking during a visit to Brussels, said reports of religious minorities being targeted in Pakistan did not constitute a trend and the recent claims of Christian persecution were an example of “western interests” that “want to paint Pakistan in a particular way”.

His comments follow the international outcry sparked by the case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent 8 years on death row on a charge of blasphemy, which was later overturned, before being allowed to leave for Canada.

Pakistan plays down accusations of Christian persecution:
Foreign minister says there are ‘individual incidents’ that can be compared to UK knife crime
The Guardian

A 35-year old Christian auto rickshaw driver, Sagheer Masih was robbed, beaten and poisoned by 3 Muslim men and 1 woman in Pakistan in late May 2019. Sagheer, the only Christian rickshaw driver in his community, was targeted because of religious hatred, prejudice and apparent jealously of his success.

The work ethic and personality of Sagheer Masih drew several customers to him. He was well-mannered, polite and very friendly. Knowing he had the responsibility of taking care of 3 younger siblings after the death of his father, he ensured that he always got to work early and left late in order to gather as much money as he could to care for them. At work, he experienced discrimination because of his faith. Several of the other drivers called him “Choora” which is a derogatory word for a Christian in Pakistan, but he never saw his death coming.

On the night of the incident, he stayed at work later than usual to drive for people he thought were customers. The group requested that he take them on a longer route than usual and made it clear to him that they were willing to pay an extra fee. After moments of driving, they directed him to a remote location and, at knife-point, demanded that he give them all his money. Sagheer, being scared for his life and concerned for his siblings, gave all he had, but begged that they spare his life. Instead of killing him in on the spot, they forced him to drink poison and acid and left him there to die. Sagheer Masih spent that night on laying on the street unconscious. When he was finally found, he was unable to eat or drink anything and he consistently vomited blood for almost a week. A week later, Sagheer succumbed to his injuries and was united with the Lord.

Pakistani Christians experience deep discrimination and threats on a daily basis, The story of Sagheer Masih is unfortunately one of thousand. Please join in prayer for the family of Sagheer and for the salvation of those in Pakistan currently committing the persecution against Christians.

Pakistani Christian Driver Killed in Attack:
Persecution.org

A Christian accused of committing blasphemy against Islam in Pakistan has reportedly had his appeal hearing set by the Lahore High Court. The appeal comes only months after Asia Bibi, a Christian woman formally sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy, was finally allowed to leave Pakistan and seek asylum in Canada.

In March 2013, Sawan Masih, a Christian street sweeper from Lahore, was accused of committing blasphemy against Islam. A Muslim friend of Masih, Shahid Imran, accused him of insulting the Prophet Mohammed during a conversation.

The day after that conversation, local mosques broadcast that Masih had committed blasphemy and instigated a mob attack on Masih’s home and Christian neighborhood named Joseph Colony. As a result, 180 Christian home were looted and burned, 75 shots were destroyed, and at least 2 churches were desecrated.

During the mob attack, Masih was handed over to police and formally charged with committing blasphemy. Since then, Masih has remained in prison and was sentenced to death in March 2014.

Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws are widely abused. Often, the laws are used to settle personal scores or incite religious hatred against minority communities. Unfortunately, Christians accused of blasphemy often have to suffer through years of legal battles to be acquitted of even clearly false accusations.

Appeal Set for Christian Accused of Blasphemy in Pakistan:
Persecution.org

A small Christian community in Pakistan is living in fear after they were reportedly attacked by a mob of enraged radicals because a nearby mosque accused its members of committing blasphemy following an altercation with a Muslim man.

According to the London-based charity British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), two Christian families in the Arif Wala Tehsil district of Punjab province were forced to flee from their homes after the attack by a mob of about 40 Muslim men and children with weapons.

According to BPCA, which is providing financial assistance to the community, the mob was incited by a local mosque that claimed over its loudspeakers that the Christians had insulted Islam.

The mosque allegedly called for Muslim believers to bond together to force the minority Christian community of about seven families out of the village.

Five Christian men from the community are being held in protective custody at a local police station after they were accused by the Muslim man who started the initial altercation of attempted murder.

“Local police from Arifwala police have confirmed that thus far no blasphemy charge has been made which is comforting for the Christian families.”However we call on people to pray for this situation to improve as Christian families are not sending their children to school for fear that they will be kidnapped or attacked or worse still killed.”
– BPCA field officer Mehwish Bhatti

Bhatti added that a number of Muslim shopkeepers in the community are not selling to Christian families.

“Some families have expressed their desperate plea for help as they have had to go without food on some days. Shukantilla [a 60-year-old mother] was upset because all the earning hands in her family are in police custody.”
– BPCA field officer Mehwish Bhatti

Pakistan Christians beaten by mob after mosque accuses them of blasphemy: report
Christian Post