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Pakistani Militants Invade Church, Threaten

to Massacre Christians

Christians Charged with Crimes

Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on May 16, about 40 Muslim militants linked to Ahl-e-Hadith (an Islamic radical group) assaulted Abundant Life Church in Karachi, Pakistan.

Speaking to ICC, Reverend Ishaq Khokhar, the church’s pastor, said that the Islamists attacked the church at the behest of Muhammad Tariq, a Muslim convert from Christianity. Tariq allegedly formulated a plan to demolish the church and build a mosque in its place. He then contacted the militants to help carry out his plan.

The well-armed militants shouted Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) during the assault and threatened to massacre the Christians in the Saifal Marree Goth Surjani area (the neighborhood where the church is located).

After the militants left, Reverend Khokhar approached the Surjani police station to inform them about the attack and the threats. But the police, rather than arresting the perpetrators, filed a First Information Report (a report filed by police when they receive information about crime) against four Christians who the Muslims accused of threatening Tariq Muhammad. Victor Masih, Arshad Masih, William Masih and Ayub Masih are now in hiding.

Reverend Khokhar is asking the international community to help the Christians. He warns that the Muslim militants can strike at any moment. He has also appealed to the government of Pakistan to protect the Christians in light of the threats.

ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said, “We are deeply saddened to hear about the attack on the Abundant Life Church and the threat by Muslim militants to massacre the Christians. We are outraged by the failure of Pakistani officials to prosecute the alleged perpetrators, and find it even more outrageous that the officials filed charges against the four Christians. We urge Pakistan to provide security to the Christians and bring the alleged perpetrators of the attacks to justice.”

Please urgently contact the embassy of Pakistan in your country and ask the Pakistani officials to protect the threatened Christians and to bring the attackers of the church to justice.

Pakistani Embassies:

USA : (202) 243-3254 (phone), (202) 686-1534 (Fax)

Canada : (613) 238-7881 (phone), (613) 238-7298 (Fax)

UK : 0870-005-6967 (phone)