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article imageMuslim mob torches Christian neighborhood in Pakistan Special

By Lonna Lisa Williams     Mar 10, 2013 in World
Lahore - After a Christian man was accused of blasphemy, a mob of angry Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood in Lahore, Pakistan on Friday and Saturday. Families fled for their lives, and 175 homes, 18 businesses, and 2 churches were torched.
The Blasphemy Law has been in Pakistani law books since 1860. The controlling British government implemented a law to protect all religions in Pakistan from insulting speech or attacks on places of worship. It was not meant to favor a particular religion over another and sought instead to promote tolerance and mutual care. In the 1980s and 1990s, Islamist Pakistan leaders amended the blasphemy laws to protect Islam. In 1992, the Blasphemy Law stated that any disparaging remarks against the Qur'an or the Prophet Muhammad will be tried in court by a Muslim judge. If a person is convicted of blasphemy, the penalty is death.
On Friday, March 8, a mob of about 3000 angry Muslims led by a man named Shafiq Ahmed gathered at Joseph Colony on Noor Road in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore. They searched for a 25-year-old Christian man named Sawan Masih. Masih is a sanitary worker and was accused by a local barber of making derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad earlier this week. The mob attacked Masih's house, pelted it with stones, and set it on fire.
Masih was arrested and taken to a jail where he has been charged with violating section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. His family and about 150 other Christian families fled for their lives. Several police officers were injured when they were pelted with stones as they tried to protect the area. The angry mob, armed with steel rods and hammers, continued burning houses, businesses, and churches on Saturday. Household goods such as washing and sewing machines were hauled into the streets and smashed. One man was seen carrying a dog and puppies out of a burning house.
Today, Pakistani Christians in Lahore staged a peaceful protest. They asked their Pakistani government why they are not being protected, and why it is OK for people to burn Bibles when burning a Qur'an demands the death penalty.
Naeem Nasir, a Christian pastor who recently returned to his native Pakistan after attending school in America, stated:
"I am crying and need your payers for my brothers and sisters in Pakistan. A Muslim mob burned over 100 Christian houses in Lahore, Badami Bagh. That is where my home church is, and that is where I live. Please Pray for these families who lost everything."
Ev Sharaz, another Christian pastor in Pakistan, said, "We request all of you to please pray for them." He also gave more insight into Pakistan's Blasphemy Law:
"Speaking out against the blasphemy laws can put people in danger. Two prominent politicians were assassinated in 2011 for urging reform of the law. The killer of one of the politicians was hailed as a hero, and lawyers at his legal appearances showered him with rose petals."
If you want to help these Pakistani Christians rebuild their homes, you can donate money to Pastor Nasir's Good Samaritan Ministries.
An angry mob drives a Christian community from their homes in Lahore  Pakistan
An angry mob drives a Christian community from their homes in Lahore, Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan
Muslim mobs burned houses  businesses  and churches
Muslim mobs burned houses, businesses, and churches
Christians in Pakistan
Muslim mobs burned a cross
Muslim mobs burned a cross
Christians in Pakistan
Muslim mobs burned Bibles and Christian literature
Muslim mobs burned Bibles and Christian literature
Christians in Pakistan
After the brutal attack on their neighborhood  Christians peacefully protested in Lahore  Pakistan
After the brutal attack on their neighborhood, Christians peacefully protested in Lahore, Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan
Sawan Masih  accused of blasphemy  waits in a Pakistan jail
Sawan Masih, accused of blasphemy, waits in a Pakistan jail
Christians in Pakistan
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