Young Christian Evangelist murdered in Peshawar

Young Christian Evangelist murdered in Peshawar

1/23/08 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Sajid William, 25, was shot dead by Muslim extremists in Peshawar in the North West Frontier Province on January 17, 2008. William was an Evangelist and was working as an Office Manager in the organization “Shelter Now International” in its Peshawar district office.

He was reportedly killed when three bullets hit his chest while he was on his way from his office on an official vehicle. The killer then took William’s cell phone and called his family to tell them that he had murdered him.

William had a daughter not yet three years old. He was an active member of his local Church Committee. According to a local source, his widow declared him a “Martyr” and requested that the community be strong in their faith. Hashmat, a Pastor of an Assembly of God Church in Peshawar stated, “We believe that William was murdered for his faith and was a Martyr.”

Talking to ICC, Hashmat said, “keeping his martyrdom in view the family and the community would not go for any legal proceedings.”

However, an application of a murder case was submitted to the local police station. The pastor hesitated to share any further information regarding the case.

The police registered an First Investigation Report against the unknown killer at University Town Police Station Peshawar after receiving an application from the victim’s family. The police took William’s cellular phone set and laptop in official custody for investigation. However, no arrest was made nor the investigations started till this report.

It is to be noted that religious minorities, especially the Christians, have been under threat from the religious fanatics since last year. The Christian community in several parts of the Province received a number of threatening letters warning the community “to embrace Islam or die” throughout 2007.

In April 2005, Babar Samson, a Pastor and a staff member of Shelter Now International, was also murdered along with his driver Daniel by religious extremists in Peshawar.

The family of Sajid William, the Church leadership, and the community were reluctant to share facts and their views due to fear of reprisals.

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