MISERIES OF CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN
Pakistan Christian Community Council, Lahore Pakistan.
Church Road, Bahar Colony, Kot Lakhpat, Lahore.
Tele + Fax: +92-42-5837283
P.O.Box No.5112, Model Town, Lahore-54700, PAKISTAN
Note from Balaam's Ass Speaks Editor: It seemed to me that I should not change the text in any way, even for spelling. I want the color and authenticity of the writer from Pakistan to show through. This is a verified factual and very sad report. It does show that persecution is still the hallmark of true Bible based Christianity. Mr. Frank Khan of Michigan can varify all of this from his experiences as a Christian under persecution in Pakistan.
Under severe Islamic Religious domination, the miseries of the Christians in Pakistan are enormous and visible everywhere and at every level. Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947, after the partition of the sub-continent of India which was under British Rule due to the Political struggle of different political leaders. Even though the founder of the nation had said on August 11, 1947, "The religion has nothing to do with State Affairs", but now the religion of Islam has a dominating status in the Constitutionalized political, judicial, social, cultural and governmental systems. Islam is the official state religion. Being enforced as the supreme law of the Land is the Islamic Shariah, the judiciary, legislature and executive are also working under the constitutionalized law. All the laws are being modified and reframed according to the injunctions of the Quran, which is the Holy Book of Muslims. The present constitution, political system and government are undemocratic. No more Democracy. Theocracy is prevailing in Pakistan.
Under this system, the Christians of Pakistan have neither equal political, socio-economical status, nor the equal access to available opportunities in playing a leading role in the national set-up.
Though Christians believe and consider themselves to be first class citizens of Pakistan, the present political system believes the Christians are second class citizens and are practically at the lowest level. The fact is, Christianity has been in existence since the first century, while the Islam and Muslim came much later in the subcontinent of India.
Constitutionally, no Christian has the entitlement to become President, Prime Minister, Chairman of the Senate, or the Speaker of National Assembly (Parliament) of Pakistan. Under the Constitutional bindings, the policies and practices have been adopted by all government and judicial functionaries to ignore and neglect the Christians every time, everywhere at all levels.
None of the Christians are in a position as the Chief of Army, Navy, Air Forces, Paramilitary forces, police, CIA (Pakistan), FIA, CID or etc. There are no Christian Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant commissioners. There are five Sectariates (four provincial and one federal) comprising of a different departments where you cannot find in all of Pakistan. In the judiciary, there are no Christian Judges in any High Court, while there are four High Courts, Supreme Court, Federal Shariah Court, nor is there any Christian judge working as a District Session Judge in Pakistan. The exact same situation prevails in Education and other departments.
The doors of the jobs and entries to get education at lower and higher levels have been closed under unwritten conventions. The Christian Educational institutions, which were running and managed by the churches were taken over by force, nationalized by the Bhutto government in 1972. Now, no more Christian character is being seen in these Islamized Christian Institutions. Lots of other non-Christian Institutions have been denationalized and given to their real owners but the reason is not known why the Christian Institutions are not being denationalized and given to the churches. The present government is bent upon the policy of privatization of Public Revenue Run Sectors, but the government is very much reluctant to take any step to hand over the Church properties-institutions to the churches in Pakistan. At present, more than 5000 jobs, which were for Christians are now held by the Muslims.
Because of this the 5000 or more Christians have been forced to be unemployed and thousands of dependents have been deprived of their livelihood. These institutions were the basic centers for learning, social and cultural gatherings, spiritual development for the Christians. Christian teachers, professors, or students are not seen there. Now these institutions are the dens of automatic weapons and training centers for religious terrorism.
Due to the nationalization of Christian Educational Institutions and abolishing of the reserved seats for minorities in the government institutions in 1972, there has been an increase of the Christians in illiteracy and poverty. At present, 4% of the women and 8% of the men from the Christian community are literate. Therefore 96% women and 92% men are suffering in the extreme darkness of illiteracy and poverty. According to the Unesco Report issued in 1993, Pakistan is significantly lacking in the field of Education, thus Pakistan is 200 years behind in Education with a literacy rate of 27%. WITH THIS CRITICAL SITUATION, THE CHRISTIANS WILL ENTER INTO THE 21st CENTURY. SHALL THE CHRISTIANS MARCH INTO THE 21st CENTURY AS SLAVES--ILLITERATE, SUFFERING IN EXTREME POVERTY, AND UNEMPLOYED AND UNDER SEVERE ISLAMIC DOMINATION, NO MORE A FREE CITIZEN OF PAKISTAN?
According to the liberal press media in Pakistan, hundreds of Islamic religious schools, called "Maddrassas" are run by different Islamic Religion Political Parties and groups which were allowed and funded by General Zia-ul Haq, military ruler are the camps where terrorism is taught, promoted and reported on very scientific lines. Many Muslim and other countries have complained that the ground of Pakistan is being used for International terrorism. Even the Prime the Minister of Pakistan had admitted this fact as she demanded help from the USA to curb religious terrorism in Pakistan. Heaps of the latest sophisticated automatic weapons have been hoarded, used for training and active operations in these Islamic centers. This is not only a threat to the non-Muslim of Pakistan but this is alarming threat to the global peace, particularly to the Western World. These words have been voiced by the Clon Communication Center in Germany.
Not all Muslims in Pakistan are terrorists. There in big majority of them that want to live in a tolerant society and brotherhood atmosphere. However, more than 20 Islamic Religious parties are misusing the name of Islam, instigating illiterate Muslims against the Non-Muslims (Christians, Jews, Hindus) that Jehad (Holy War) has to be launched against them to bring the Islam at glorious status. These Religious parties are successfully influencing (poisoning) the Muslims in general to be brutal hard-liners against the Christians and other non-Muslims. The governments of the past and present have always been under the pressure of these extreme Islamists. They have always been part and parcel to the Government. This is why they have been successful to get Islamic Shariah and different Muslim law enforced.
The government delivers political statements from time to time in the favor of the non-Muslims minorities when some dignitary or delegation is to visit Pakistan or when the Prime Minister is on tour to any country of the Western World. These statements are only spoken words in the air, just like lip service, never has any notification been issued for the socio-economic and educational development. There is a rigid and permanent policy to erode the rights of minorities and curb them by different methods.
There in always a naked and sharpened Islamic Sword hanging on the necks of innocent Christians in Pakistan in the shape of the Law (Blasphemy Laws 295.B and 295.C of Pakistan Penal Code). If any person disgraces or insults the Quran, then he has to be punished by imprisonment for life (295.B) and likewise if any person writes, speaks, illustrates or does any action in a disgracing or insulting manner, then he or she shall have to face capital punishment, there is no fine or life imprisonment.
There are also many other blasphemy laws through which there are severe punishments but these (295 B 295.C ) are open license in the hands of Muslim Fundamentalists to kill Christians and other non-Muslims. Muslim hard-liners religious scholars often deliver verdicts and print the posters on the walls stating to kill a certain person because he/she is blasphemous to Mohammed, the Holy Prophet of Muslims. It is also stated that whosoever kills a blasphemer of their prophet shall go into Heaven freely. They promise the killers their entry to heaven. This law has been widely misused by the Muslim hard-liners to implicate many Christians in Pakistan.
THERE HAVE BEEN MANY EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS OF CHRISTIANS.
1. Niamat Ahmar very highly qualified, second headmaster (teacher) form one government High School, poet, writer was butchered with a butcher knife in the daylight, out of the government office, in the presence of lots of people, mainly Muslims. His body was cut into the pieces, the killer was speaking loudly with religious verses, slogans that he had killed a Christian blasphemer. The large crowd of Muslims were watching the brutal scene and later they garlanded the killer that he had done the noble pious work of killing a Christian. This had happened in Faisalbad, a district of Punjab.
Niamat Ahmar had neither spoken, nor written a word against the sanctity of their prophet. It was just a matter of a transfer case so one teacher could be at the school where Niamat was teaching. The government and the people of that area wanted to keep Ahmar there because he was a very hard worker and good, capable teacher. The other Muslim teacher who wanted to come in his place made a dirty plan. He wrote some hand bills by his own hands, posted on the walls. Those hand bills aroused the emotions and religious feelings. Then a man was instigated, and prepared to kill Niamat Ahmar. The Sipahe Sohabah of Pakistan was the main master mind behind this plot. Last Year Niamat's daughter was burnt to death also by the Muslim Fundamentalists.
2. There has been registered a blasphemy case against one Christian man named Anwar Masih. Anwar Masih once became a Muslim and was put to addiction to Hashish and Heroine. He had a good physical stout structure. The Muslims did not want to see a very healthy Christian man. When he turned back to Christianity this was considered a severe blasphemy to their prophet. One day, when he was purchasing something from a shop, where the shopkeeper (under plan) started shouting that Anwar Masih was denouncing the name of their prophet. As he saw the situation, he sought the refuge and shelter in the Church of Samundhri where he was arrested by the police. There was a big gathering to kill him, but the police took him into custody at the jail in Faisalabad. He has been waiting for trial for three years during this time many attempts have been made to kill him in the jail. He is a family man, father of three children. His parents are elderly people and have no job. Anwar was a driver.
The whole family is going through great tribulations. Not only the parents and relatives but also the other Christians in Faisalabad, rather in Punjab are having great harassment and great danger.
3. Iqbal Tahir, a new Christian convert from the Muslim Community, ex serviceman, an electrical technician from the Air Force, was killed mysteriously in a Lahore jail. When Tahir became a Christian, he started to give testimony how he became a Christian and why he left Islam. This action was considered blasphemy. He was giving testimony that different verses of Quran and so teachings of their prophet were very much contradictory to his understanding. He had also been marking and underlining the verses of Quran which were the points of talks. The case was registered under 295.B (disgracing to the Holy Quran) then later he was also booked under 295.C. The Lahore District & Session and High Court Judges refused to grant him bail as he had applied, he sent applications to the state authorities that his life was in great danger because he was receiving threats of dire consequence. He was offered if he would deny Jesus Christ, accept Islam again he would be released and his life would be safe. As he refused to become Muslim, he was killed by the wardens and fellow prisoners as he was nominated a blasphemer.
4. A victim of blasphemy law named Manzoor Masih from District Gujranwala was shot dead in Lahore outside of Lahore High Court on April 5. 1994 by the Islamists hard-liner as he along with other victims of this law were on their way home from the court hearing waiting for the bus. Four Muslim terrorists came and fired at them. There Manzoor Masih died on the spot. The other three were injured seriously. This was another extra judicial killing.
The Muslims did not wait for the judgment from the competent court. They tried to kill the victims. Actually, a false case was registered against Manzoor Masih. Rehmat Masih and Salamat Masih, that one of them, Salamat Masih was writing blasphemous words on the wall of the mosque with a stone of brick and some chits were thrown in the mosque by them. Trial had been going on in Gujranwala, then was later transferred to Lahore Session court -here both Rehmat Masih and Salamat Masih were sentenced for capital punishment by the Additional Session Judge in Lahore. Then an appeal was filed against the judgment. The Double Bench of Lahore High Court continued hearing for seven days where they were acquitted free. This blasphemy case against the victims proved to be false. This case became well known on the Intentional level. The Press and electronic media came from all over the world, especially from the Western World. The Muslim Fundamentalists have been demonstrating against the Judges of Lahore High Court, Benazir Bhutto, the Prime Minster, and against the Christians. The hearings of this case have been heard, observed, and reported by myself. It is also known to the diplomats, international Human Rights Organizations, and even to the Government authorities. At this time Rehmat Masih and Salamat Masih are in Germany on Asylum.
5. One Bantoo Masih, an aged man who was brought to the police station at Lahore Cantt, as he was accused of blasphemy where his case was being registered. While there one Muslim stabbed him and he died after a few days. No case was registered against the killers. He is at large in Lahore and is boasting to be a hero who has killed a Christian Blasphemer to Mohammad, the Holy Prophet of the Muslims.
6. Mukhtar Masih, as evangelist and aged man, was tortured to death as he was brought in by the police in Nishtar Colony, Model Town, Lahore that he had written some blasphemous letter to the Muslim Priest of a Mosque. The Police had arrested six Christians belonging to one family to find that by whom the letter was written. The police had been beating and interrogating them with third class methods. The others were in good health and could bear the torture, but Mukha Masih, being an old man, died by the police torture.
There are many cases of blasphemy law, pending in different courts, waiting for their fate, but some have gone into some unknown hiding. However, the Muslim Fundamentalists are after them to search and kill them whenever the Muslims can find them.
The fanatical and rigid Muslim Mullans (Priest) often say in the public meetings that all Christians are blasphemers because they (Christians) believe that Jesus Christ is a Son of God and He is God. Moreover, Christians believe in the Trinity. They believe Jesus Christ was crucified, died on the cross, buried, arose after three days, ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God and he has the full authority of Heaven and earth.
The whole Christian teaching is against the Holy Quran and sayings of the Holy Prophet of Mohammad. If Christians may not commit blasphemy against the Islamic teachings but the faith and creed of the Christians which is not in the conformity of the Holy Quran and Holy Prophet Mohammad, thus Christians are accounted to be blasphemers. In this situation the Christians have no religious freedom at all. They can neither profess their religious dogmas and creeds, nor can they propagate their faith, nor even exchange the religious ideas or feelings. The Christians feel completely insecure in the presence of this law. Often in different offices, markets and working places, the Christians are threatened. Their voice is brought under domination that the ( Christians) shall be implicated. The Christians face hanging sharpened and naked swords everywhere in Pakistan. Perhaps there are none in the whole world who could compel the Government and people of Pakistan to bring the sword into the cover, in other words. These laws (295 B & 295.C PPC) could be repealed. This was more than 10 million Christians, Hindus, Ahmadies and other non-Muslims could be saved from being butchered from time to time under the pretense of these blasphemous laws.
Many Christians are being killed by the police and by the general fanatic Muslims at different places in Pakistan just for nothing. The Government of Pakistan is very much reluctant to take notice of the brutality being brought on the Christians. Described very briefly are some of the Christian killings:
1. Two Christian young men were killed in Christian locality Basti kassoke, in District Hafizabad. The police did not try to investigate to find the killers. This happened in May, 1996.
2. Rehmat Masih died by police torture while he was in their custody. This happened in Lahore in the month of April 1996.
3. A young man Christian Rashid Masih was killed by the police in jail. Kot L'akhpat, Lahore. The police was interrogating with third class methods to get him to confess to some uncommitted crime. Due to the severe torture, he died in the jail. This happened in the month of April, 1996.
4. Two persons Munir Masih and his oldest son, Emanuel, were killed in Narowal Punjab, but the police did nothing to find the killers. This happens in the month of April. 1996.
5. A Christian young man, Roni Daniel, was killed by the police in a fake police encounter on March 7, 1996.
6. Two Christian young men, Jawed Masih and Sohail Masih, were killed in Lahore by the police and other Muslim men.
7. A Christian young man, Nawab Masih, was killed by the police during a fake investigation and torture. He was taken by CIA Police of Lahore, Pakistan and there he was killed.
The Christians of Pakistan are completely voiceless, powerless, and helpless. They cannot do anything against the brutal police and feudal landlords.
The sufferings of the Christian women are very troublesome. They go through a different kind of brutality. Under the Islamic Laws. the rights of the women folk have been eroded. Women are not equal to the men folk. In Pakistan two women are equal to one man. Under the Islamic Evidence Act, whenever any woman is raped, and she wants a criminal case registered against the rapist, she has to produce four Muslim men as witnesses. No women or non-Muslim men or women. If any Christian woman is raped in a Christian house or school hostel, then from where can a woman produce four adult Muslim men? The evidence of the Christian, be that a man or woman, has no validity against any Muslim rapist.
Hundreds out of thousands of Christians women are going from house to house to clean their lawns, toilets, cattle stables, and carry the garbage and human waste in the basket on their heads. These women are treated inhumanely as members of the lowest class community. Their situation there is just like slaves to the Muslim masters. These women and girls are often kidnapped, raped and made Muslims. Then they are married to the Muslim men. Whenever the parents or husbands of these women approach there to take their women back, the Muslim kidnappers and police authorities scold and rebuke the Christians and tell them to go away. Now this Christian woman has embraced Islam and is no Muslim according to the Islamic Law. The Muslim woman should not reside into the Christian house. With this way the Christian families are going through the worst type of breakage, obstruction of a Christian family.
Only in one city, Lahore, where the population is more than 5 million, 23 000 Christian women have been forced by the unavoidable circumstances brought on them by the legalized-socialized slavery system to clean toilets, houses, streets, lanes, and roads. 7000 Christian men then carry the human waste and filthy garbage on their heads, or on the bull carts going through the streets and store at the filth and garbage depots. In other words, one Christian must clean the filth made by 100 Muslims.
Untouchability and detestability are the signs for the Christian community. Untouchability is not prohibited in the legal frame rather from all sectors. This is promoted against the Christians. All of the jobs, which are considered the most degradable, untouchable or considered below their Muslim dignity are reserved for the Christians. The Christians are treated inhumanely, socially the degraded and of the lowest community. They are not allowed to enter the dining rooms or kitchens while they are cleaning the houses. Nor are they allowed to sit on the furniture, where Muslims have to sit. The Christians are hated at the worst level, but their women are chased, kidnapped, raped and even made to be Muslims by force. Then they are married to the Muslims without obtaining their willingness. The woman's thumb impression is taken by force on a white paper, afterward a statement is printed that the particular Christian woman has embraced Islam becoming a new Muslim, and has shown her willingness to marry the particular Muslim man (he is often much older than her). This way the Christian families are broken, the married women's children are left unattended to be destitute.
When these Christian women raise their voice against the brutality, then they are threatened along with their Christian relatives including parents, brothers and sisters they would be killed. If not killed directly then they would be implicated and booked under the blasphemy laws for which there is only one punishment, i.e. Capital punishment death. The Christian women, as domestic servants, have to work for extremely low wages. Their wages are not increased nor are they allowed to work at the place of their choice. Whenever they try to leave and find some other job, they are booked under false charges of theft. When the Police torture the Christian men and women, even the police officials rape the women without the fear of any legal bindings. Here are some incidents of kidnapping, raping and forcing of the Christian women to become Muslims during the few months in this year.
1. According to the newspaper, The Daily Jang, May 1, 1996 Edition, a Christian girl, a daughter of Tara Masih of Village No. 46, Sangla Hill was taken out of her house at gun point at midnight where she was gang raped. When the relatives tried to rescue her, they were fired upon. Tara Masih is a very poor man. The police had not done anything against the criminal because they are feudal landlords, very rich and influential.
2. According to the News item appearing on March 17, 1996, Nawai Waqat Urdu Daily, two Christian girls along with one other Muslim girl were abducted and there is no clue of their whereabouts. It is learned that the kidnappers are very influential. The victims are very poor Christians.
In September, 1996, it is learnt that both have accepted Islam as their new religion and have married to two Muslim police officials. The parents could do nothing except to shed tears.
3. A Christian girl named Surryia Bibi, daughter of Salamat Masih, student of the 10th class, 17 years old resident of House No 901/ E Sector No. 3, Avenue Sir Syed Rawalpindi was kidnapped on the 16th of March, 1996 by one Muslim, Abid Hussain. The Christian girl has been made Muslim, then married to the kidnapper-rapist. The parents and other relatives of the girl have approached the police of Rawalpindi, refused to do anything because the girl is no longer a Christian but Muslim and they cannot do anything. Source: the brother of the kidnapped girl approached the office of P.C.C.C. Lahore with an application.
4. One Christian woman named Razia Bibi, (wife of Boota Masih, resident of the village No. 81. G.B Tehsil District, Faisalabad) was kidnapped at gun point on March 20, 1996 at midnight by two Muslims, Mohammed Mumtaz Taj and other man, where she was raped by those two persons.
The Christian woman and her husband approached the police and medical authorities but none of them listened to the cries of the victims. Then the victims filed written petition in Lahore High Court for redressing their grief but this time Senior Supdt. Police has been directed to probe the situation. The case has been registered against the rapists, arrested, and have been sent to prison.
5. Two minor Christians girls in the district Sahiwal were kidnapped, raped, then made Muslims with force. As the father approached the police it was learnt that police could not favour the victims because the girls are now Muslims and have married to the Muslims. If the father could embrace Islam and become a Muslim, then they would be allowed to go to their father's house, otherwise the Muslim girls cannot live with Christian parents. As of yet the girls are still in the custody of kidnapper as they are Muslim feudal landlords where the father of the girls was working as a land tiller (bonded laborer) .
There are many incidents of the brutality brought on Christians by Muslims. The Christian localities (village), their churches, their houses, their grave yards are demolished, their belongings are looted by Muslims. Whenever these Christians approach the authorities, they always show insensitivity towards the Christians. Rather Christians are treated with eternal religious animosity. Names of some Christian villages are being mentioned which have become the target of Muslim attackers.
1. Village Mattah, District Lahore
2. Village Bath, District Lahore
3. Village Jindre, District Lahore
4. Village China Basti, District Lahore
5. Village Dhobhi Serai, District Lahore
6. Village Ahata Thanedar District Lahore
7. Village Raiwind, District Lahore
8. Village Martinpur, District Sheikhupura
9. Village Youngsonabad. District Sheikhupura
10. Village 113. Sangla. District Sheikhupura
11. Village Sacha Sauda, District Sheikhupura
12. Village Singhra, District Sheikhupura
13. Village Qila Diar Singla, District Gujranwala
14. Village Khan Jaja, District Sialkot
15. Village Fauji Quarters (Army), Peshawar
16. Village Dogaich, District Lahore
Many more villages, localities of the Christians, have been bulldozed. They have been made homeless, shelterless, they were forced to become unknown, unrecognized, unregistered refugees in their own home country. Whenever the Muslim refugees come into Pakistan, they are provided with all their basic necessities by the government of Pakistan as well as by the western countries, but sorry to say that the Christians are looted by the Muslims whenever they get a chance to deprive them of the belongings they have.
Economically, the Christians have been crushed, down trodden, illiterate, backward by Muslims under the gradual process of dominating policy. The Christians have no possibility of having any leading role in the National Building Program. In all of Pakistan there are no Christians who own any factory, industry, mill, shipping or transportation corporation. Nor do any Christians run any shopping plazas, department stores, or agricultural farm where he could employ five or ten Christians. The Christians are the poorest community, much below the average of poverty level.
The destruction of the poor is their poverty--Proverbs 10:15
There is nothing through which the Christians could influence the Muslim majority. Whatever the Christians had (educational institutions, agricultural land, the services in all department industries of government) were taken over by the Bhutto Government in 1972. The Bhutto Government, General Zia-ul-Haque, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto have done almost their best to do nothing for the betterment of Christians for their socio-economic, educational development. Rather they (governments) have played a very important role to use all the legalized, consitutionalized methods to crush, eliminate the Christianity from the land of Pakistan.
The Christian money in the shape of grants, aids under different packets from the western world have been used for the destruction of Christians in Pakistan. The whole Christian community is under the great danger of blasphemy laws. All the pastors, clergies, evangelists, social and human rights activist, Christian politicians, and all other Christian leaders are under the severe target of Muslim extremists, terrorists and other Muslim hard-liners. Even police authorities are chasing the Christian leaders how they could be brought under the implications, especially those Christians religious ministers, human rights activists who show special concern to the Christian victims, their life and properties, families and interest are under great danger. The names of some of the Christians clergies, social-human rights activists who are being threatened time to time by the Muslim terrorists, extremists and even by police are being described.
1. Ministers: Rev. John Joseph of Faisalabad Rev. John Sarnuel, Rev. Samuel Robert Azariah, Rev. Alexander John Malik, Rev Ramando, Rev. Sadiq Masih, Rev. John Victor Mall, Rev. Khalid Hadyat Rev. Ashiq Masih,, Rev. Gulzar Masih Bhatti, Rev. Liaqat Qaiser, Rev. Shamas Josh, Rev. Emanuel Khokhar, Rev. Zakria, Rev. Samart K Dass, Rev. Victor Khobhar, Rev. William Johnson and so many other Pastors in Lahore and other parts of the country.
2. Social and Human Rights Activists along with their families. Victor Azariah Col. Farrnan Masih, retired from Salvation Army Joseph Francis Patrus Ghani, Mr. Durani Zia, Khokhor Munir Khokhar, S.K. Kenneth Yousaf, Qasim Khan (a convert from Muslim family) Aziz Khurshid, Shafi Mugha, Niamat Bernard George, Waheed Javed, Joseph Mushtaq, Raza Javed, Austin Sohtra, Emanuel Sohtra, Daniel Dad David Paul,, Michael Paul, Tehsin Paul, Yousaf Masih-Advocate, Emanuel Ijaz- Advocate, Tariq Gill-Advocated, David Irfan (Chief Editor of Sawan), Yaqoob Hero, James Birwa J. D Gill, Ashraf Gill, Samuel Victor, Yousaf Khan, Naeem Shakir-Advocate, Shaukat Fiaz, Shaukat, and hundreds of young Christian boys and girls.
BLASPHEMY CHARGES AGAINST CHRISTIANS & EIGHTEEN FAMILIES DRIVEN OUT LIKE CATTLE
Reported: David Paul.
In chak and village No. 353 EB, Tehsil Arifwala, Distt. Pak Pattan, Punjab Pakistan where naked brutality was staged and the eighteen Christian families were the target of this brutality.
This village is situated in the south of Lahore at the distance of 230 km and at 7O km in the south west of Sahiwal a Distt. of Punjab-Pakistan where the Christians have been implicated in the blasphemy cases. Fir has been registered against Ayub Masih? The police are conducting the investigation.
On October 16, 1996, two Christian brothers named Ayub Masih and Bhola s/o Inyat were beaten with kicks, fists and clubs so severely that they seemed nearly dead.
They were taken to police post near the village. The police of the post took them in custody and later on to Police Station Sadar in Arifwala. Now it is learnt that Ayub Masih and Bhola are somewhere in Sahiwal.
Ayub Masih and two sons of Mohammad Sultan, Mohammad Akram and Moharnmad Aslam, by profession cobbler of the same village, had an exchange of hot words. They started quarreling, slapping and kicking each other on a dispute of Residential plot (Ahhatta) in the village. One of the parties wanted to have possession of the plot.
One Christian and some other Muslims intervened and made this combat quiet for the time being. Then Sultan, the Cobbler, approached one very influential person of the area Ch. Aziz s/o Fateh Mohammad (His 8 members of the family are is USA) and Larnbardar of the village, Mohammad Sharif s/o Abdul Rehman. There three of them turned this land dispute into a Religious issue. They started denouncing the Christians as blasphemers and instigation, propagation was the campaign that Ayub Masih and Bhola are blasphemer.
The extremists were mainly stressing that Ayub Masih is the main blasphemer, and he must be hanged. Ayub Masih is educated with first division in Matric and F.A. An educated Christian is always disliked by the religious hard liners and extremists.
A big crowd gathered and came towards the Christian houses. On seeing this instigated angry, emotional crowd, Ayub Masih tried to escape. This crowd was chanting the slogans against Ayub Masih. The crowd of the Muslims got hold of him and they started beating him and his brother, Bhola, with kicks, fists, clubs-- whatever way they could. They thrashed both the brothers until they became nearly dead. They were taken to the police post near the village.
Later in the evening the crowed became more bigger, and started to march towards the police post where the strength (number of police cops) was not enough to control the situation, then these two Christians were taken immediately to Police Station Sadar in Arif Wala (Tehsil Sub division).
Then in the evening of same wednesday, 16th Oct 96, the Muslims Priest of the village with the help of Aziz s/o Fateh Mohammad, Sultan Cobler and Mohammad Sharif s/o Abdul Rehman Lambardar announced in very angry mood, with full incitement & instigation that all the Christians of the village have to go out of their houses & village before the dawn of Thursday otherwise they & their houses shall be burnt. This announcement was they made in furious tune at least five times after little intervals. Whole Muslim community was being prepared to believe that the Christians were the blasphemer to Holy Prophet so that no body could come forward to help Christians. Some Muslims youth started to walk in those streets where the Christian houses were situated.
When the Christians saw this horrifying situation, they became horrified under great panic. They could do nothing except to flee from their houses with their kith and kin but totally empty hands.
They were forced to become unrecognized, unregistered refugees in their own home and land. The small children, old folks, girls, men and women were running in the darkness of night to some unknown destination. There was only one thing in their mind--to run and run to save their lives, otherwise they would be burnt and killed.
These eigthteen Christian families which were comprising of more than 135 members were sitting on the bank of a canal under open sky without any shelter. The names of these bewildered and persecuted families are as:
1. Khurshid Masih 2. Pira 3. Allahditta 4. Sadiq Masih 5. Sooba Masih 6. Mushtaq Masih 7. Makhan Masih 8. Irshad Masih 9. Binyamin 10. Maloka 11. Rafiq 12. Inyat 13. Roshan 14. Yousaf Masih 15. May Dhali 16. Boota Makhan 17. Lady Shadan widow 18. Dilwar Soobah 19. Papu Binyamin.
There are other seven families which are in the neighboring village, who are under great harassment, for they are also being threatened for severe consequences as they tried to help the victimized Christians of village No. 353 EB.
Their names: 1. Sharif Mashih 2. Shabir Barkhat 3. Papu Banyiamin 4. Samuel Mana 5. Ghulam Masih 6. Younas Ghulam 7. Hanif Munwa
On Thursday, 17 th October, 96 Arifwala there was much demonstration of the Muslims including all religious sects, political parties (PPP-PML-N) and Tehsil Bar Association that, Ayub Masih to be hanged publicly & openly in Arifwala. In the city there had been a great panic & harassment for the Christians. The Muslim leaders who had addressed the procession were Qazi Khalid Mahmood president Bar Association, Khalid Imtiaz Ali Khan Advocate, Rana Zahid, Iqbal Advocate, Sofi Mohammad Rashid President Merchant Association , Moulana Abdul Wohab, Maulana Qari Jamal Qadari, Maulana Shammus-ul_Din, Hafiz Saeed Ahmad and Hafiz Abdul Ghafar.
They all had been demanding hanging for Ayub Masih, More over, the president of the citizen Association Nawid Tariq, General Secretary of Bar Association Chaudhari Zaheer Aslam Gujar, Rana Ijaz Rasool PML-N Leader, Rana Tariq Mahmood, Peoples Party Leader Tika Mohammad Nawaz Khan and Main Mohammad Ashraf Joyia ex MPA, all have stressed the death for Ayub Masih.
The police have been advised and directed by the high authorities to protect the Christians, which they did well. But the Maulvies (Muslim Priests) were preaching fire, killings and hatred against the Christians. The blasphemy Law has produced many folds in tolerance and hatred against the Christians and other non-Muslimscommunities. This law has to be repealed. There is great need of religious tolerance, harmony and love to be promoted amongst the communities of different sects and religions.
Bashiran Bibi, the mother of Ayub Masih, is begging everyone who meets her, to save the life of her son from the uncommitted offense and its punishment. There in Arifwala and Pak Pattan, no lawyer is willing to defend Ayub Masih due to the pressure of extremists. However, some human rights activists and lawyers working in such organizations are planning to move a request in the Lahore High Court to get the case transferred in Lahore from Pak Pattan, as the case of Rahmat, Salamat and Manzoor Masih was transferred from Gujranwala to Lahore. There are some implications to get every thing in order. As this time investigations are being conducted to complete the case to be presented to a magistrate or a judge. Police is not giving the accurate information of the process of the case.
ANOTHER BLASPHEMY CASE:
A Christian professor, Peter John s/o Sohan Lal Masih, permanent resident of village 74-75/9L Chichawatni District Sahiwal Punjab very highly qualified Msc gold medalist and M. Phil, top in Physics from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, age 28 years, working as professor in Government Degree CollegeKamalia District Toba Take Singh, has been falsely implicated in blasphemy case in July 1996.
This young Christian man who is very highly qualified talented man joined his services in this college in 1992. He had a good repetition and respect amongst his college and students in the college. But a few Professors who belong to a rigid and extreme fundamentalist group, Sipaha-e- Sohabah Pakistan, have a jealously grudge (hearted) towards the Christians especially against him. They instigated some of the students who later on started to accuse him as the Blasphemer to their Prophet. On 29th July 1996, when there was Muslim festival, Eid Milad-ul-Nabi (Birthday of Muhammad, Peace be upon him) it was announced among the college students that Professor Peter John was a Blasphemer worthy to be killed. On 3rd August 1996, three times a gang of Sipaha-e- Sohahah, under the leadership of Kaleem Ullah, attacked on his house, started beating him, dragged him towards the car but the neighbors who were not aware of him as so-called Blasphemer reached and rescued him out of their hands. This gang had a plan to kidnap and kill at the bank of a river and throw his body into the river. But God has saved him through the help of his Muslims neighbors. However, the same night, very late, through other Christian friends he managed to escape away from Kamalia.
Now he is some where in hiding place. This situation was brought to the knowledge of higher Authorities in the Federal and Provincial Governments who managed some how that case was not registered. The Deputy Commissioner of Toba Take Singh has transferred him to the Government Intermediate College Thikariwala District Faisalabad where there is already one Christian Clerk in the College has been implicated in such a case. Situation there in also tense. The Sipaha-e-Sohabah is well organized fundamentalist organization in the sameFaislabad Area. One Christian Head master, Niamat Ahmer, was butchered and another, Anwar Masih, the victim of Blasphemy law ,is suffering lying in Faisalabad jail. Now the highly educated Christians working in different departments, on some posts are worried that it is very easy to pull them down or kill them brutally with the implication of the Blasphemy law. This case has not got much publicity because Government doesn't want to let the people know that this Blasphemy law is being used against the Christians to settle their personal scores and revenges. This information has been confirmed by his Christian colleague, Professor Mr. Jacob Paul, Digree College Kamalia. It is also in the knowledge of Rt. Rev. John Joseph Bishop of Faislabad (Roman Catholic).
FIVE CHRISTIANS IN THE POLICE CUSTODY:
From different three Christian families, five persons are in the police custody (lockup) in Liberty Gulberg-Lahore Police Station. Their names are as:
1. Justina d/o Matchless Masih, age 13-14 years.
2. Sabina w/o Matchless Masih, age 28 years.
3. Matchless, 30 years.
4. Gulfam Masih, age 18-19 years.
5. Aslam Masih, 30 years.
The Fir has been written against the relatives of Matchless Masih i.e. Bashir Masih. Gulfam Masih and Aslam Masih only. There were no names of the family of Matchless.
Story has been told that one Noor Mohammad Arbab, Chairman Race Club, very close relative of Arbab Sakandar, ex senator the pathans, Pushato speaking from the North Western Frontier Province, has house in Liberty Gulberg where only very rich people live. His house No. 22/D. Gulberg, Liberty Market, where Matchless with his five children, wife, lives in the servant quarter. His daughter, Justina, used to work as cleaning girl. She used to go there at 5 am and return at 11:30 pm, nearly midnight. This was her daily routine.
In August, 1996, Mrs. Arbab wanted that this girl should accompany her as a servant to Peshawar for which she herself and her parents refused to accompany. In the same, there used to be three watch men belonging to the northern area, Mr. Arbab living in Lahore. He did not accompany her wife. While she was in Peshawar there was theft case. Fir was registered in Liberty Gulberg Police Station in August of theft case of amount Rs 250.000. Police started investigation. That time there was no name of Justian, Sabina and Matchless. But the police just inquiring which were their relatives. They gave the names of their relatives. They gave the names of their relatives, the police entered their names in the Fir in August, and this time the police did not arrest them, neither made any interrogation.
One new thing has been reached that thieves were three in good health, strong body built, with weapons. One of the watch men said to the police that thieves were having gun point at him. He said to the police that if the Mr. Arbab would come to police Station he would be able to disclose the name of the thieves. Mr. Arbab did not turn police station. It is learnt that Mr. Arbab has two wives. One is married, legal wife and the other is a keep. Whenever his legal wife goes out, she usually enjoys the days with her husband. Mr. Arbab knows who are the thieves. But his legal wife is very hard, clever with question mark character. This woman says she will spare every one but she will not spare the girl, Justina. Now Mrs. Arbab says that the theft amount has gone up to Rs. 15.00,000.
Thus the police have been very hard to the victimized but after proper interrogation, the police have come to the conclusion that these Christians are innocent.
One retired Col. of Pakistan Army says that she wants to use this girl for some other motive purpose. One thing is very much known, that girls and women are openly sold in the North Western Frontier Province near the boarder of Afghanistan.
Here a big struggle is being made to get them released by all different means. We got them released through Judicial Magistrate but Police is still harassing them.
SOME INFORMATION OF PERSECUTION IN OTHER ISLAMIC COUNTRIES:
1. Eighteen Churches have been burnt and five Christians, including one Pentecostal pastor and his wife, have been killed by the Fundamental Muslims in Indonesia.
2. One Christian doctor, Michel Ayad Henes, 40 and school teacher, Samir Mohammad Abdel Kafi. 37 have been shot dead by Muslim militants, Fundamentalist jamae Islamiyvya in Egypt.
3. An Iranian pastor Assembly of God, Rev. Mohammad Baghaer Yusefi, has been found dead near his house on 28th, 29th September, 1996. Later on, the authorities informed the family members that his body was hanging on a tree.
Rev. Yuseti has been martyred because he was a Christian leader from a Muslim back ground in Iran.
A CHRISTIAN WOMAN DOMESTIC SERVANT, INTERROGATION FOR UNCOMMITTED THEFT.
A Christian woman domestic servant named Rani w/o Javed Masih, aged 35 years, ailing with T.B, working as cook in the house No. 17 E.l. Gulberg Lahore of Mr. Zaheer Ahrnad Khan, Senior Advocate of Lahore High Court, has been taken to
CIA Police Station Model Town Lahore by Ch. Mehraj A.S.I Asstt. Sub. Inspector of police of the same police station where she was forced to sit in nearly for half day and to confess the uncommitted theft in the house of Zaheer Ahrned Khan.
It is learnt that no application was presented by Mr. Zaheer Ahrnad, nor any FIR or theft case has been registered anywhere against Rani but Mr. Zarnan Khan D.S.P. CIA Model Town gave verbal order to ASI to produce Rani, interrogate her for theft case. She has been going for days regularly for the interrogation, as yet nothing has been found from her of any kind of material of theft.
When Mr. Zaheer Ahmad Khan was contacted, he informed that he had no knowledge of such kind of any thing had happened in his house ,when, by whom, and who had done, why Rani had been implicated. But it is learnt that one of his sons named Mustafa Khan, a third son, husband of three wives, having no source of regular income, police tout-informer and friend of D.S.P. C.I.A. Model Town, is the main person, stresses the police to interrogate Rani for undone theft case.
The Police and he (Mustafa Khan) are threatening her for dire consequences if she is not going to confess the theft crime. She is bodily very frail and weak, being T.B. patient. She is weeping and fasting to her God to protect from the hands of brutal.
This Rani being sick person is not in a position to work since 7:00 am and 12:00 midnight for 17 hours daily. She had been working for two and half years but she left the work about three months ago. In her absence, a theft case has been fabricated. Then she has been called from her village for the interrogation. The wife of Mr. Zaheer Ahmad Khan and his son, Mustafa, wanted her to work for them. Due to their hard and inhuman treatment and low salary, no servant likes to work for them. The Christians, being very very poor and neglected member of society, are often willing to work there. When they go through experiences, they try to leave the work. Then they (Christian) are implicated--trapped in false theft cases. So, one Christian, Mariam Bibi, cook for the same family, was also involved in such kind of false case. And she had been suffering a lot, then left work in a troublesome situation.
They want that Rani must work for them. If she does not then she has to go into prison.
One of the watchmen of the same family was beaten very severely by Mustafa Khan. Then the watchman told to Rani that better she should flee away, otherwise this Mustafa Khan would beat her more severely. There was a story about five or six months ago. Mrs. Zaheer Ahrnad Khan went to attend some function herbrothers house where her tooth fallen down. She went straight to Dentist where she left some of her jewelry in her bag, There those her belongings were lost but that time there was nothing case of theft against Rani.
Now this poor Rani, illiterate, mother of three children, is being mentally tortured and terrorized for nothing. They want to keep her as slave-bounded labor. Her physical health condition does not permit to work for the whole day under heavy psychological pressure. She needs sympathy, but she is facing hardships. The oppressors are very strong, influential and rich people. But this oppressed woman is very poor, frail, sick and belonging to the neglected community, the Christian of Pakistan.
This Rani w/o Javed Masih was interviewed on 31 October, 1996, in the vicarage of St. Johns Church, Church of Pakistan, Liaqat Abad Kot Lakhpat Lahore, in the presence of Mr. Iqbal Masih, Manzoor Masih, Mr. Rehrnat Masih, Mr. Niamet Bernard and Rev. John Victor Mall, the pastor in charge of St. Johns Churchwhere she had stated be troublesome story. She will go again to police station for investigation. She does not know what kind of brutal treatment she shall face.
As is learnt that ASI Mehraj of CIA Model Town Lahore has got her thumb impression printed on pure white paper by force. As yet nothing is known which kind of statement has been writing by the ASI, either against Rani or in her favor.
RECOMMENDATIONS: HOW THE CHRISTIANS OF PAKISTAN CAN BE BROUGHT OUT OF SLAVERY AND SEVERE ISLAMIC DOMINATION:
There are so many possibilities with which the Christians could be brought out of slavery.
1.The Christian teaching (Gospel) has to be preached amongst the Christians, especially amongst the Christian youth and children so that they can have a strong faith with a deep Christian understanding in the Lord Jesus Christ to face all challenges, along with their old folk. People shall be aware of the Truth (Jesus Christ) and the Truth shall liberate them. Revival meetings with full evangelizations have to be conducted more and more in all of Pakistan with full support of the churches and prayer groups of the global churches.
2. Different programs and projects have to be launched for Socio-economic and Educational Development of the Christian Community with short and long range possibilities. For example, literacy classes, vocational and technical training centers, primary and high schools, and workshops where different skills are taught as well as practical work is done. Private and foreign run sectors should be sought to get jobs and commercial and computer centers started for training with boarding hostels. Nursing training institutions have to be established for educational purpose. Christians who are wandering hither and thither like refugees have to be rehabilitated in small Christian villages near the big towns and cities so that they could earn their livelihood and learn some skills for their better future. Especially, women development centers have to be established to save them from the brutality of Muslim masters where they are kidnapped, raped, made Muslims and married to the Muslims at gun point. The Christian organizations, churches and other human rights organizations have to play a very important role to save the Christians form the slavery and religious domination. The Christians in Pakistan cannot do anything themselves. They need moral, spiritual, political and financial support to achieve the goal and to have equal status in all fields of life.
3. The seminars, workshops, get-together meetings have to be held for awareness of the human rights situation, to exchange ideas, feelings, thoughts and to adopt some precautionary measures and chalk out some programs. This way they shall be able to come out of the inferiority complex. They shall be able to be steadfast in every kind of situation and they can march with honor and respect into the 21st Century.
HOW OTHERS CAN HELP CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN:
The Pakistan Christian Community Council recommends very strongly that all the politicians, liberal writers, Human Rights Activists and all others who believe in democracy and in the Charter of Human Rights of UNO should work together and stress to the government of Pakistan that she should try her best to repeal and abolish all the discriminatory dominator laws including the 295.B and 295.C of the PPC. The cases registered under the sections 295.B and 295.C must be withdrawn and the victims have to be acquitted honorably.
The educational institutions which were belonging to the churches, nationalized in 1972, should be handed over to the real owners (Churches) without imposing any condition, exactly in the same condition of 1972, after officially denationalizing
The opportunities and possibilities for obtaining jobs must be made compulsory though reserving 20% seats in all entries into all ministries at all levels. Under the same pattern, the entries into all educational institutions for general, professional and technical education, 20% to be reserved and made compulsory.
The agricultural lands which have been snatched from the Christians under different pretenses must be returned to the Christians.
The true democracy must be promoted, the Constitution of the country must be brought into the conformity of the Charter of Human Rights.
The Government must adopt all democratic methods conducting seminars, get- together meetings and workshops to create and promote the atmosphere of mutual understanding, brotherhood, religious tolerance and social harmony. The Government and her functionaries must try their best to avoid, rather than discourage, the spirit of religious instigation, incrimination against the Christians and other non-Muslims minorities.
It is the duty of the government of Pakistan to provide full protection to the non-Muslim minorities so that they can enjoy all their religious, political and educational rights according to the charter of Human Rights.
IS THERE ANYONE WHO COULD PLEAD THE CASE OF THE OPPRESSED AND PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN IN THE GLOBAL SOCIETY WHERE IT HAS BEEN DECIDED TO ABIDE BY THE LAWS OF THE CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACCEPTED BY THE U.N.O?
1.Open thy mouth for the dumb (speak for those who cannot speak) in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8, 9)
2. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain. (Proverbs 24:11)
3.Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. (Jeremiah 22:3)
4. So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. (Ecclesiastes 4:1)
5. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4: 17)
6. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed." (Luke 4: 1 8)
If anyone wants to have more information regarding the persecution and torture for Christ in Pakistan, please feel free to contact me at the postal address:
Copyright © 1997 Pakistan Christian Community Council- Most recent revision April 14th 1997
Pakistan Christian Community Council, Lahore Pakistan.
Church Road, Bahar Colony, Kot Lakhpat, Lahore.
Tele + Fax: +92-42-5837283
P.O.Box No.5112, Model Town, Lahore-54700, PAKISTAN
Editor, Blessed Quietness Jouranl: We note two things:
1. In all fairness, we observe that some Muslims aided Christian victims when under attack. This is not some basis for ecumenism. It simply shows that man, who is in the image of God, is not 100% unable to feel sorrow for other men. It must not be used as a basis for "coming together." That can only be by the power of the Gospel. But we must not be unfair in speaking of ALL Muslims as animal in nature. Indeed, this terror is most always the product of a handful of devil possessed Mullahs and their devilized followers.
2. We note with sorrow the call for help from the world community of unsaved do-gooders. We know very well that the Liberal one worlders will gladly let Christians die and suffer with not attention to their needs. This is exactly what Bill Clinton and the UN did with the 400,000 Sudanese Christians who were marched into the African dessert and left to die. Thus, we must pray mightily for these Pakistani saints as they suffer. These days can be a foundation for much power, revival of the Church, and evangelism. THAT we can encourage in them.