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500-Person Muslim Mob Attacks and Kills Christian in Pakistan, Burning Homes and Businesses

500-Person Muslim Mob Attacks and Kills Christian in Pakistan, Burning Homes and Businesses


Shaheryar Gill

June 6

3 min read

Persecuted Church



Through our Pakistani affiliate, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), we have learned that Nazir Masih, a Christian victim of a Muslim mob attack, has died of injuries caused during an attack on him, his home, and his shoe factory. Masih was picking up and burning trash after a windstorm, as is customary in the town, when a Muslim neighbor, Muhammad Ayub Gondal, accused him of burning religious texts and pages from the Quran. While Masih went inside to prepare for the day, Gondal and others who were within earshot ran to the local mosque, told the people in the mosque that Masih had burned the Quran, and began advancing a mob toward Masih’s home and shoe factory.

This mob, started by Gondal, was so ferocious in brutalizing Masih that the ambulance driver, who was called to render aid to Masih, fled for his life. A police officer got into the driver’s seat and was able to get Masih to a military hospital. Unfortunately, the Muslim mob took out its anger and aggression against Masih’s home and shoe factory, stealing shoes and anything they could before burning it down.

Masih died of his injuries a few days later at the hospital, leaving behind two sons, Sultan Masih and Ilyas Masih. Our team in Pakistan met with the victim’s family after the attack, as well as church leaders in the area, to provide both legal and emotional support.

While the police have charged between 400–500 people with attempted murder, assaulting an officer, mischief by fire or explosion to cause death or hurt, and several other assault and arson charges, the police also charged Nazir Masih, the victim, with violating the anti-terrorism statute, blasphemy, and the willful destruction of the Quran.

Blasphemy allegations in Pakistan are a serious matter, as demonstrated by the horrific attack of the local Muslim population against a man trying to clean up the streets after a windstorm. This is the newest attack on Christians since an attack last year in the town of Jaranwala, where over 20 churches and 80 Christian homes were destroyed after two brothers were accused of blasphemy. Despite the Pakistani government’s actions following that attack, including an apology to the Christian community and a high-level inquiry, the Pakistani Muslim population has not backed down.

A few months ago, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took up the issue of the Jaranwala attacks and stated that the official report was insufficient, and if a new report was not given, the court would suspend and discipline officials. This led the Chief Justice to declare that attacking places of worship is against Islam, and those with no knowledge of Islam are leading these attacks. Hopefully, the Chief Justice’s words will lead officials and the courts to ensure these perpetrators face justice, but so far, it has not deterred the attacks.

Tragic attacks against Christians in Pakistan are all too common. That’s why the ACLJ fights to defend Christians in Pakistan. Continue to keep our Pakistani brothers and sisters in your prayers, and pray that our legal team can continue to provide help.

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