A Christian man in Lahore, Pakistan, was reportedly killed this week by a “mob of radical Muslims.”
The shocking attack on the 25-year-old victim allegedly unfolded during a dispute over a wall being constructed — a local point of contention between Muslims and Christians in the area, according to International Christian Concern (ICC), a persecution watchdog.
Police reportedly didn’t step in to adequately address the situation after around 200 people gathered near the man’s home, sparking chaos, cursing, and shouting. In addition to the man’s death, others were reportedly injured in the violent scuffle, though divergent details have been released.
According to ICC, “Despite the sensitivity of the issue, police were unable to dedicate the proper amount of time and effort to the case because of their focus on the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches.”
The PSL games involve the playing of cricket, with the ICC noting that the attack and the lack of security showcases “how inconsequential violence against Christians is in Pakistan.” Some said the death could have been prevented.
Samson Salamat, a local human rights activist, declared the attack shows that Christians in Pakistan are viewed as “nothing.” He added, “They can kill us any time, even in the presence of police.”
The victim’s brother was reportedly hurt a day before the murder over clashes surrounding the same issue.
One report in The Statesman indicates a man named Pervaiz Maseech was killed, though this report purports Maseech was beaten with an iron rod and not stabbed, as at least one source purported.
The report also noted that police said the incident had nothing to do with religion and revolved around a local issue. Christian Today, however, identified the man as Pervez Masih, a local shop owner.
Despite details remaining sparse and incomplete, ICC noted something that seems undeniable: the conditions for Christians in Pakistan continue to worsen.
This is a reality observed in Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, with Pakistan ranking as the eighth most challenging place in the world for Christians to live.
“In Pakistan, Christians are considered second-class citizens and are discriminated against in every aspect of life,” the 2002 World Watch List report reads. “Church leaders can be arrested if they don’t abide by the authorities’ wishes. These arrests act as warnings to the Christian minority and intimidates them further.”
The report goes on to note that “even a false accusation can lead to mob violence.”
Another recent report details how a man was lynched in a separate incident over allegations he burned pages of the Quran, showcasing the violence that can — and often does — unfold.
Just weeks ago, two priests were shot. Father William Siraj, 75, died instantly, and Father Naeem Patrick was shot in the hand. And as Faithwire recently reported, a Pakistani Christian teen has recounted her story of being abducted and forcibly converted.
Read more about the conditions in Pakistan here — and be sure to pray for the country.
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