A majority Muslim country, Christianity is not well tolerated in Pakistan. Open Door USA rates the country as “extreme” in their levels of persecution against Christians, with “violent” acts (i.e. murder, bombings, abductions, rape, and eviction) and the use of “unjust and arbitrary blasphemy laws” common.
In a tragic example of such violence, reports indicate that a promising 17-year-old Christian student was beaten to death at school late last month.
Sharoon Masih was considered to be an excellent student at MC Model Boys Government High School in the Vehari District of Punjab. He was believed to have been the only Christian enrolled at the school, and his parents told the British Pakistani Christian Association that their son dealt with taunting, bullying, and abuse daily. Sharon was quickly labeled a “chura,” a derogatory term used for Christians, and was allegedly told by a fellow student: “You’re a Christian don’t dare sit with us if you want to live.”
“I cried every night as he described the daily torture he was subjected to,” the teen’s mother, Razia Bibi, told the BPCA. “He only shared details about the violence he was facing. He did not want to upset his father because he had such a caring heart for others.”
As Christian Today reports, after beginning at the new school on August 25, Sharoon was reportedly beaten by his fellow pupils in their classroom and died at the scene on August 27. There have been conflicting accounts as to where the attack took place. Initially it was believed Sharoon was in a classroom with a teacher, who ignored the violent uprising, present, but the school’s headmaster has since said that the murder occurred between classes, meaning no teacher was in the room at the time.
The headteacher has been fired, and, thus far, one student has confessed to beating and killing Sharoon. Muhammad Ahmed Rana was arrested and detained by local authorities, and while no other suspects have been named, it is believed several students partook in the abuse.
“My son was a kind-hearted, hard-working and affable boy,” said Bibi. “He has always been loved by teachers and pupils alike and shared great sorrow that he was being targeted by students at his new school because of his faith.”
In an effort to get justice for Sharoon, the BPCA is working closely with his family to offer counsel and support. Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the organization, said in a statement that the killing “serves only to remind us that hatred towards religious minorities is bred into the majority population at a young age, through cultural norms and a biased national curriculum.”
On its website, the BPCA calls for the reform of the educational system in Pakistan and “the removal of the bias within the national curriculum which openly demonizes and caricatures minorities.” Furthermore, the organization seeks to the end the “bullying and discrimination” religious minorities face in Pakistan.
While Sharoon’s parents struggle to make sense of their son’s tragic death, his mother understands that God will ultimately ensure justice is served.
“The evil boys that hated my child are now refusing to reveal who else was involved in his murder,” she said. “Nevertheless one day God will have His judgement.”
(H/T: Daily Wire)