Pakistan: Christian beaten, arrested for blasphemy after Muslim mob of 3,000 attacks his home

August 10, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Pakistan: Sohail Masih “was busy on his shop while someone maliciously shared the blasphemous picture from his account while he was busy handling customers.” This is yet another cause of the use of Pakistan’s blasphemy law to settle personal scores.

This is all too common in Pakistan. That nation’s draconian blasphemy laws are frequently manipulated and misused in order to victimize Christians and other religious minorities, and leave them with no recourse. Christians in Pakistan are targeted with accusations of blasphemy that are often just a cover for attempts to settle personal grudges, appropriate their property, or achieve some other end. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been used to victimize innumerable innocent people, both Christian and non-Christian. Often this happens with the approval of the relevant authorities.

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, calls upon the international human rights community to bring pressure upon the government of Pakistan to repeal these unjust laws, and allow the Christians of the nation to practice their faith in peace and live in peace.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“A Christian arrested under blasphemy after Muslim mob attack at his home,” Pakistan Christian Post, August 9, 2020

Gujranwala: A blasphemy case was registered in the police station of District Gujaranwala against Sohail Masih son of Nazar Masih on August 5, 2020. Sohail Masih was caught by the people of the village and was beaten but due to the in-time interference of Police he managed to stay alive and now sent to District Jail Gujranwala. A local volunteer informed The Voice team about this incidence when there was a Mob attack of about 3,000 people surrounding the house of the victim, while his family inside. They [s]ought to burn down the house along with the family of the victim as he was a blasphemer and therefore he rightly deserved to die along with his family that included his parents, wife and two young daughters 5 and 3 years of age.

The Voice’s Fact Finding:

The Voice team reached the village and tried to talk to the local people but everyone was either furious of scared to talk to us. It is a village of about 10,000 people and only 40 Christian families are living there, the rest are all Muslims, so it is obvious if Christians are forced to run for their lives from the village to escape from the rage of Muslims upon unconfirmed blasphemy. The Voice team met a Christian family living about 10 kms away from the home of the victim. Pastor Tariq and his family are the family friends and relatives of Sohail’s family so they were able to share some details, He said, Sohail is a laborer and works on a small shop as a salesman, while his father is a laborer and rides donkey cart to earn his living. Sohail also serves the church as a church Elder on Sundays. Tariq Said, a few days ago Sohail got a post against the sacrifices that Muslims make on the Eid and that was saved in his phone. Sohail is educated with minimal education and he can’t write or he doesn’t know how to operate, share the smart phone. He was busy on his shop while someone maliciously shared the blasphemous picture from his account while he was busy handling customers….