Christians Burned Alive in Pakistan
Dear Friends and Partners,
Over the last week Christians in two towns near Faisalabad in Pakistan fled their homes as Islamic extremists went on a rampage, burning and looting Christian homes. These riots began after Christians were falsely accused of blaspheming the Quran during a July 25 wedding. On July 30, 60 houses were burnt in the village of Korian and on August 1, in the nearby village of Gojra, 50 houses and a church were burnt to the ground. At least 14 Christians are dead and many more suffering from severe burns and unable to obtain medical help. Several of the 14 dead were burned alive in their homes while Muslim mobs blocked roads in order to prevent the arrival of fire response crews.
The authorities’ response to these events has been grossly inadequate. After the Korian attacks, provincial authorities took no action to rein in the rioters or to prevent the attacks in Gojra. Reinforcements were slow to arrive, at one time reportedly leaving four police officers tasked with controlling the mob of thousands of Muslims who were being incited by loudspeakers from local mosques and vehicles.
A committee struck to investigate the Korian attacks included no Christians and only after Christians demonstrated for several hours, refusing to bury their dead from Gojra, was any action taken against the rioters or those who incited them. On the other hand, a first information report under Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws was lodged swiftly against the Christian parents of the bride. Two security officials who played key roles in the inadequate security response have not been suspended or arrested even though they are named in the complaint. Furthermore, Muslim groups held a press conference on August 5, demanding that the complaints against Muslims be dropped and threatening further attacks against the parents of the bride and the Christian community.
These attacks follow on the heels of increasing attacks, including previous similar attacks, against Christians and other minorities in Pakistan. Rev. El Shafie intends to follow up on his previous visits to Pakistan by visiting the affected area shortly. Please keep him in your prayers regarding his safety and provision and, if you are able, please assist us with the financial demands of this mission (donation information is provided below).
• for the Christians of Korian and Gojra, for swift healing for those who have suffered severe burns or lost loved ones, comfort and peace in the midst of chaos and great pain, and that they would be kept safe from further attacks;
• that the Christians of Pakistan would be filled with comfort and peace and that they would respond to these attacks in a way that demonstrates the love, forgiveness, and authority of Christ;
• for Rev. El Shafie’s safety and provision when he travels to Pakistan; and,
• that the people of Pakistan would be able to live together in peace and harmony regardless of their religious differences and that the Islamic extremists would be exposed and prevented from causing more harm.
The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and write to (contact details are included below):
• the High Commissioner or Ambassador of Pakistan to your country, urging the government of Pakistan to uphold its international commitments and the human rights of its citizens, to the benefit of all of Pakistan, by stopping Islamist attacks against Christians and other religious minorities; and,
• the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Secretary of State in your country, demanding that they hold the Pakistani government to account over its handling of Christian and minority rights and insist that it take appropriate and effective measures to stop Islamist attacks.
Please remember to send us a copy of your correspondence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling. They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.
“They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream” in the Lord’s name.
Be with God and may God be with you.
Rev. Majed El Shafie
President and Founder
One Free World International
El Shafie Ministries
Sources: One Free World International, Compass Direct
His Excellency Mian Gul Akbar Zeb
High Commissioner of Pakistan to Canada
10 Range Road
Ottawa, ON K1N 8J3
Tel. (613) 238-7881; Fax: (613) 238-7296
The Honourable Lawrence Cannon
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
Tel.: (613) 992-5516; Fax: (613) 992-6802
In the United States:
His Excellency Husain Haqqani
Embassy of Pakistan
3517 International Court NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel.: (202) 243-6500; Fax: (202) 686-1534
Secretary Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel.: (202) 647-4000 (Main switchboard)