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Pakistan: Muslims attack Christian family, harass women, set house on fire

For information about Orthodox Christianity in Pakistan, see here.

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

“Muslims attack Christian family, harass women, set house on fire,” by Shafique Khokhar, Asia News, December 15, 2021:

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – The latest episode of anti-Christian violence was reported in Farooqabad, not far from Faisalabad, in the Pakistani province of Punjab.

The incident – which occurred last Friday, 10 December, International Human Rights Day – saw a wedding crashed, women harassed, and a house set on fire.

Residents were able to escape but they could have been enveloped in flames and burnt alive had it not been for their quick reflexes.

A group of Muslims, including a policeman suspended from duty, who was helped by colleagues to avoid arrest, attacked the home of Wazir Masih, a Christian sanitation worker, who was celebrating the wedding of his son Ahsan.

The incident began when a Muslim neighbour, Tariq Pehalwan, entered the house, causing mayhem, harassing the women, and throwing them money to lure them.

Shortly after being thrown out, angered, he returned with a dozen people, five of whom are still unknown and armed, and began hitting the guests, firing in the air, and harassing the women, trying to rip their clothes off.

Tariq Pehalwan shouted that those present were participating in a “Christian” celebration and deserved “a lesson”, while his associates beat the men and stripped their wives and daughters.

The shots drew the attention of neighbours who started screaming in terror. Meanwhile, Wazir Masih’s son called the police, who arrived when the attackers had already fled, after making death threats.

When the agents left, the attackers came back. This time they stole the jewels and money given to the newlyweds, and poured petrol on the furniture and furnishings setting them on fire.

The wedding party managed to escape before the flames completely enveloped them. Thanks to the statements of those present, the Masihs were able to file a First Information Report (FIR) with the police who accepted it only under pressure and after the intervention of some local activists.

The FIR was recorded on 12 December, and several attackers were later arrested. After a few hours, they were released on bail yesterday….

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