Christians Fear Growing Muslim Hatred in Pakistan
Muslims desecrate bibles, bomb churches, and kill Christians with impunity.
By Rodrick Samson
04/15/2011 Pakistan (Spero Forum)-Waris Masih, a resident of Multan, has been working for the Multan Development Authority in Pakistan as a sanitary worker. After the burning of the Quran by Protestant pastor Terry Jones in the US, despite condemnations emanating from the Catholic Church and other sectors, Christians across Pakistan face Muslim persecution. Waris Masih is among the Christians facing the the wrath of Muslims working at MDA.
Since March 21 there was discussion among the sanitary workers. While Masih had condemned the burning of the Quran, he also condemned attacks on the Christians and their churches. This turned into a furious debate as other sanitary staff glorified the attacks on the churches. On April 8, the 24 year-old Akhtar Hussain desecrated the Bible at the gates of Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Multan, Waris Masih condemned the desecration. On April 8, a heated discussion ensued between Masih and a senior MDA official. The official threatened Masih with termination for condemning Akhtar Hussain or attacks on Christians.
On April 13, a group of fanatics assaulted Masih and demanded that he leave Multan or will have to face an exemplary punishment for condemning Akhtar Hussain. Masih then learned that his family had also been told to leave their home. On the evening of April 13, Masih fled with his family from Multan and is now in hiding.
Other Christians and religious minorities are facing severe penalties for supposed blasphemy, under Muslim law, in Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, has been held in prison for more than a year and is facing a death penalty for alleged blasphemy. Another Christian, also imprisoned for blasphemy, recently died under suspicious circumstances.
Masih’s case is the seventh Christians have faced since the notorious burning of the Quran on March 21. In March 2011, Christian sanitary workers in Lahore were abused and assaulted by the Assistant Director of the Sanitation department when they went to plea for relaxing their working hours during the Lenten season. Muslim workers work only 4-5 hours per day during their fasting season of Ramadan. In the response, the Assistant Director insulted them and increased their working hours from 8 hours to 10 hours.
On Saturday, April 9, 2011, Lutheran Church in the Mardan City of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was targeted by extremists. According to Rev. Ghulam Shad, the pastor in-charge at the Lutheran Church an explosive was placed on the outer wall. The low intensity explosive device shattered windows at the church and could be heard for miles away.