Note that the family exposed the body of the slain man in the street, “asking for solidarity and justice from passers-by,” because of  “police and the government inertia.” This is a scenario we have seen play out so very often, in Pakistan as well as in other countries: Christians endure persecution or injustice, and authorities who ought to be protecting them are sympathetic to the attackers, so that nothing is done. The Christians of Pakistan are particularly vulnerable to this government and law enforcement injustice.

Please pray that the Christians of Pakistan would be granted the light of religious freedom and relief from those who blaspheme the name of God with anger, violence, and hatred.

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

“Gojra, Muslims kill Christian who was trying to protect sister,” by Shafique Khokhar, Asia News, May 25, 2021:

Gojra (AsiaNews) – Arif Masih, 32, was killed by a group of Muslims for trying to defend his sister from the harassment of two young Muslims. Days earlier, the two young men had dragged the girl into the street and stripped her naked. Faced with police and the government inertia, his parents exposed the body of their son in the street, asking for solidarity and justice from passers-by.

Arif Masih is the son of Saleem Masih, and resided in the Chak 370 village of Tariqabad (Gojra, Punjab). According to his brother, Rizwan Masih, events began on 20 May. Their sister, Rehana Bibi, 18, had gone to the bazaar to buy some milk. Returning home, two young men, Muhammad Tariq and Muhammad Majid, began to harass her. The girl tried to escape and took refuge in the house. The two broke into the house and got into a fight with Arif. The two young men also took the girl and dragged her to the bazaar, tore off her clothes and mocked her.

District policeman Toba Tek Singh Rana Umar Farooq ordered them to file a complaint. Arif therefore drew up the complaint (first information report # 506/2021) against Muhammad Tariq and Muhammad Majid, citing article 354-A which punishes “anyone who assaults or uses criminal force against a woman and tears her clothes, and in those conditions exhibits her to the public “. The complaint was filed on the same 20 May, but no one was arrested.

Since then, the accused began to threaten Arif with the worst consequences if he failed to drop the complaint.

According to several witnesses, on May 23, both perpetrators went to Arif’s home and attacked him. They loaded him onto their motorcycle and then beat and poisoned him, throwing him on the street. Local people informed the family that their son was lifeless in the middle of the road. In critical condition, Arif was first taken to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital in Gojra; after first aid, he was transferred to Allied Hospital in Faisalabad. But due to his injuries and the poison, he died….