Christians Face Violent Persecution as Nearly 1,000 Christian Families Flee for Their Lives in Pakistan | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Families Flee From Violent Persecution in Pakistan

By ACLJ.org1519831580403

Imagine a child being sentenced to die for a Facebook post.

We parents constantly caution our children, particularly teens, about what they post on Facebook and other social media. We never imagine it could lead to a child’s execution. For Christians living in Pakistan it can turn into a real life horror story.

On February 20, 2018, at least 800 families fled a Christian neighborhood near Lahore, Pakistan following the arrest of a 20-year-old Christian man, Patras Masih, who was accused of posting allegedly blasphemous material on Facebook over a month before.

Our international affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice’s (ECLJ) office in Pakistan, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), went to Shahadra, Lahore, after hearing of the incident. They spoke to the local police Station House Officer (SHO), who said that Patras Masih was in police custody, and that it would be best if the local Christians did not return to their homes for two or three days until the situation had cooled down. The Head Constable told us that, according to the allegation, Patras had posted a picture on Facebook putting a mosque under his feet.

A Pakistani daily reported that on February 19 a mob set tires on fire and blocked part of a main road in Lahore, home to the largest population of Christians in Pakistan, demanding that Patras be publicly hanged for disrespecting the prophet Muhammad. A local pastor told World Watch Monitor that several men in the gathering demanded that Patras Masih be delivered to them. Gas cans in hand, they threatened to set the neighborhood on fire if the mob’s demands were not complied with. Consequently, over 800 families fled the neighborhood where the mob gathered.

According to his uncle, Patras was arrested the evening of January 19. A press conference was held the next day with a few Islamic clerics and Christian leaders at the Shahdara police station, after which the leaders signed a joint statement calling for a return of peace, and stating that “[Christians] will respect the religion of Muslims and holy places and their religious festivals and they [the leaders] will teach this to the members of the community.” Patras’ family is now in hiding.

On February 23, Pakistani news agencies reported that Patras’ cousin, Sajid Masih, jumped from the fourth floor of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) building. According to a video testimony recorded at the hospital, Sajid stated that the officials summoned him to their office. After he went there, they beat him. When he asked why they were beating him, they said that his fault was that he was Patras’ cousin. He further stated that the officers demanded that he sexually abuse Patras. Sajid said that he couldn’t do that, and when the officers got upset he ran and jumped out of the open window. The FIA has also filed a case against Sajid for attempted suicide.

We ask you to keep Patras, his family, and the many other Christians of Lahore in your prayers, especially for their safe return to their homes and for the police and other Muslims to deal with the situation wisely.

Lahore, Pakistan is the same city where we told you a suicide bomber detonated an explosive at an Easter Service held by local Christians, killing over 70 innocent people, many of the victims young people and teens. Our own affiliate office in Pakistan was on the ground and our team surveyed this devastation personally.

After that is was an attack on a Christian church during Sunday services. And the heartbreaking sagas of Asia Bibi, the Christian mother the ACLJ continues to fight for, locked away in prison, awaiting execution for the “heinous crime” offering a Muslim a glass of water. Pakistan is getting more dangerous and less peaceful for Christians.

It’s no wonder the United States has stepped up, cutting all foreign aid to Pakistan until they take action, and the U.S. Department of State has placed them on a Special Watch List for violations of religious freedoms. As we reported, over the last 15 years we sent Pakistan nearly $34 Billion. Not anymore. The President has frozen over a billion dollars earmarked for aid to Pakistan until they fix this horrific situation.

But the world’s leaders must intervene as well. We have filed a report through our European office to the U.N. Human Rights Council documenting these atrocities. The U.N. must demand Pakistan protect Christians and bring these violent agitators to justice.

This latest incident is only further proof abuses against Christians in Pakistan are out of control. No child should be killed for a Facebook post, nor should anyone be harmed for their faith.

The ACLJ will continue to fight on behalf of persecuted Christians at the United Nations, here at home before Congress, and all over the world through our affiliate offices.

Defend Dying Christians in Pakistan

Persecuted Church  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

As we aggressively fight in Pakistani courts to defend dying Christians, every gift (even $5) makes a difference. Donate today.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.

Two Years Ago Leah Sharibu Was Abducted by Boko Haram

By CeCe Heil1582124400000

Imagine your daughter, or your sister, being held hostage for TWO YEARS by evil, violent criminals. Today, Leah Sharibu, the Christian teenager who was abducted on February 19, 2018 by Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist militia, will mark her second year as the vile group’s prisoner. They have...

read more

Defending Pakistan’s Dying Christians at the United Nations

By Olivia Summers1581458595330

For years, the ACLJ has been raising the alarm for Christians in Pakistan who are living their lives in constant fear of violent persecution. Christians have been beaten, abducted, raped, imprisoned, bombed, and murdered. Now a new report by Christian human rights organization Open Doors has ranked...

read more

Urging Protection of Christians in Nigeria at the U.N.

By Olivia Summers1581372878291

Just last week, “ [t]he governor of the Boko Haram-infected Borno state in northeast Nigeria” stated that “Boko Haram’s violence has impacted over 100,000 people. . . . [and is] responsible for the creation of 59,311 orphans and 59,123 widows throughout its existence.” Indeed, Nigeria has become an...

read more

Islamic Jihadists Kill Christian Pastor

By CeCe Heil1580161634471

2020 is already proving to be a deadly year for innocent Christians in Nigeria. Boko Haram – the Nigerian jihadist militia pledged to ISIS – just beheaded a Christian Pastor who weeks ago was shown in a hostage video telling the world: “Don’t cry. Don’t worry. But thank God for everything.” As...

read more