“When the Christians complained [to] the police about the attack, the police officials ordered them to keep quiet and avoid mentioning it as a religious issue… The police were unfair in the matter,” one of the locals said.
Unfortunately, this is all too often the case, and not just in Pakistan: the persecution of Christians is exacerbated by unsympathetic officials who actually tacitly approve of the persecution, and refuse to do anything to aid the Christian minority. Christians in Pakistan are all too frequently 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. All too often this happens with the approval of the relevant authorities.
“Muslims Beat Group of Christians for Protecting Church Property in Pakistan,” International Christian Concern, August 17, 2018:
08/17/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a group of Muslims beat a group of Christians, including children, for attempting to protect their church property in Kasur, a city near Lahore, Pakistan.
Bashir Masih, one of the victims, shared with ICC, “A charged mob of over 50 Muslim men, led by Mukhtar Ahmad, a local Muslim, attacked the Christians at Waran Chak Balyana village in Kasur on August 2, 2018. Ahmad, a local landlord carries a dispute with the local Christians over a piece of land for years…The lower court of Kasur has already issued ‘stay-order’ for the piece of land for both the parties in January 2018 which will expire on 17th of the next month. However, the Muslim family wanted to grab the church property using their social and religious pressure.”
St. Mathew’s Catholic Church is currently under construction, but it serves approximately 40 Catholic families in the village. The community built the church with their own money, without any financial help from the bishop or international community.
“On August 2, 2018, Ahmad tried to cultivate a piece of land with a tractor which belongs to the church. The local Christians requested him not to violate court orders, however, Ahmad abused the Christians and passed derogatory remarks against [the] church, stating, ‘Building a church is nonsense.’…Within no time, Ahmad’s armed companions attacked the Christian men, women, and children with arms and sticks. They left two seriously injured and other with minor injuries. The mob stoned the under-construction church as well,” Barkat Masih told ICC.
Anand Masih (18) and Sagar Masih (10) were severely injured during the attack. Anand needed eight stitches on her lips and Sagar broke his left arm and is receiving medical treatment.
While meeting the community leaders, ICC learned that the local police officers refused to register a First Information Report (FIR) against the Muslim group and reportedly warned the Christians not to mention the issue to the media.
“When the Christians complained [to] the police about the attack, the police officials ordered them to keep quiet and avoid mentioning it as a religious issue… The police were unfair in the matter,” one of the locals said….