Taliban in Pakistan Warns Christian Leaders to
Convert to Islam or Face Dire Consequences
Washington, D.C. (October 16, 2009)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on October 6, members of the Taliban sent threatening letters in Sargodha, Pakistan warning Christian leaders to convert to Islam or face dire consequences.
A copy of the letter obtained by ICC warns Christians to convert to Islam, pay Jizya tax (an Islamic tax imposed on religious minorities) or leave the country. If Christians refuse to accept the choices given to them, the letter explains that they “would be killed, their property and homes would be burnt to ashes and their women would be treated as sex slaves. And they themselves would be responsible for this.”
Rev. Zaheer Khan, Pastor of Maghoo Memorial Church, Rev. Aamir Azeem, pastor of United Christians Church and Rev. Zafar Akhter, pastor of United Presbyterian Church each received a copy of threatening letter.
The Islamists sent the letters to the following Christian institutions: St Peter’s Middle School, Sargodha Institute of Technology, Sargodha Catholic High School , St John’s Primary School and Fatima Hospital .
Besides the Christian institutions, the letter was also sent to the main Immam-Bar-Gha (Shiite Muslim’s gathering hall). Shiites are a minority Muslim group in Pakistan where the majority of the population is Sunni Muslim.
ICC’s Jonathan Racho said, “Christians in Pakistan are soft targets for attacks by Islamic extremists. Over the past four months alone, 12 Christians have been killed by Muslims due to their faith. We are alarmed by the increase in attacks against Christians in Pakistan . We urge Pakistani officials to take the threatening letters seriously and take measures to protect the Christians and their institutions from attacks.”
Please contact the embassy of Pakistan in your country to bring this situation to their attention and ask them to protect Christians from violence.
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