Christian Couple Reportedly Burned Alive, Pakistan Urged To Respond

ICC Note: The brutal killing of a Pakistani couple for alleged desecration of the Quran continues to spark outcries across Pakistan. The two were beaten and then burned alive, according to local sources, including ICC representatives. Calls continue to be raised for the Pakistan federal government to seek justice in this case and to amend its blasphemy laws that fuel religious hostilities like this.

11/05/2014 Pakistan (Catholic News Agency) The reported killing of a Christian couple in Pakistan by a mob on Tuesday has sparked calls for the nation’s government to protect its people, and especially its minorities.

“The burning alive of a Christian couple is a test case for our government. Our government must provide protection to all citizens and especially to the poor and downtrodden Christians,” Fr. James Channan, O.P., director of the Peace Center Lahore, told CNA Nov. 4 in an email interview.

That morning, Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama, a Christian couple, were allegedly killed and their bodies burned by a mob after they were accused of desecrating the Quran. The couple lived in Kot Radha Kishan, a city located nearly 40 miles southwest of Lahore.

Shama was pregnant, and the couple had three additional children. They were reported to be in their 20s or 30s.

Fr. Channan said he is “under a deep shock and disbelief” because of the incident. “I demand from the government and law enforcing agencies of Pakistan that justice must be done and culprits must be punished.”

The Masihs’ bodies were allegedly burned in a brick kiln where they had worked, but there are varying reports of the details of the case.

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