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Pakistan: Two Christians Gunned Down in Religious Dispute

Pakistan is home to over two million Christians. A small number of these Christians are Orthodox. Orthodox Christians in Pakistan are under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia, which comprises all the Orthodox Communities, Parishes, Foundations and Philanthropic Projects in Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Brunei, Timor, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, as well as Pakistan.

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

“Two Christians in Pakistan Gunned Down in Religious Dispute,” International Christian Concern, October 12, 2021:

10/12/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that two Christians in Pakistan were gunned down by a mob of Muslims following a property dispute that turned religious. Local human rights defenders claim that the deadly attack was the result of unchecked religious intolerance against minorities in Pakistan.

On October 8, Yaqoob Masih and his brother, Haroon Masih, were shot and killed by a mob of enraged Muslims in Village #2A, located in the Okara District. According to local witnesses, the attack on Yaqoob and Haroon was a result of a property dispute that turned religious between Christians and Muslims.

“A Muslim family had religious hatred against us and other Christians living in the village,” Indriyas Masih, an eyewitness and survivor of the attack, told ICC. “They never like the development of Christians in the village and therefore opposed us in getting a contract for a piece of land for cultivation.”

According to Indriyas, local Muslims were annoyed that the Christians applied to lease six acres of land for cultivation. After several months of arguments, local authorities settled the matter and awarded the lease of the land to the Christians.

“On the incident day, five of us went to the agricultural fields for irrigation work when a mob of over two dozen armed men attacked,” Indriyas continued. “The attack resulted in the killing of Yaqoob and Haroon.”

Indriyas identified nine members of the armed mob and shared that they shouted anti-Christian slogans as they opened fire on the five Christians. Local police registered a First Information Report (FIR #363/21) against the attackers and local Christians are hoping the culprits will be brought to justice.

“The Christians are treated as slaves bounded to Muslims,” Asif Muniwar, a local human rights defender, explained. “Christians enjoy no rights, no dignity, and no protection in this country. The overall system of society is based on religious hatred against Christians and other minorities.”…

In Pakistan, disputes between Muslim and Christian communities often turn violent due to religious intolerance and widespread discrimination against religious minorities. In many cases, false accusations of blasphemy are utilized against Pakistani Christians to settle persecution scores or incite incidents of religious hatred. In the past, false blasphemy accusations have sparked mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests….

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