Pakistani Court Charges 106 with Slaying of Christian Couple
An Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan has charged 106 individuals in connection with the murder of two Christians killed for allegedly committing blasphemy last year. In November, the Christian couple was accused of desecrating a Quran. Following that accusation, a mob of enraged Muslims gathered at the brick kiln where they worked, brutally beat the couple, and burned them alive. News of the murders shocked both Pakistan and the international community. Please pray for justice to be done in this case.
5/22/2015 Pakistan (NPR) – Prosecutors in Pakistan’s Punjab province have charged 106 people in connection with the gruesome mob killing of a Christian couple who were incinerated in a brick kiln for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.
In November, Sajjad Mesih and his wife, Shama — who was pregnant when the couple in their 20s was killed — were beaten and thrown into the kiln they tended as laborers.
The New York Times described the killings in November:
“The accusations against them began after burned pages of the Quran were said to have been found in their trash. … [As] word spread, the couple were locked up in a room adjacent to the brick kiln by their employer, Yousaf Gujjar, who also had a running dispute with the couple over money. Some accounts in local news media suggested that Mr. Gujjar accused them of blasphemy after they refused to repay money he had lent them.
“Meanwhile, local clerics made incendiary announcements and urged people to gather. Hundreds of people converged on the couple’s home, and witnesses said some in the crowd broke down the door and dragged the couple out. The police said they were tortured and then burned in the kiln.”
The BBC adds: “The case raised fears among Christians, who form a minority in the Muslim country where blasphemy laws are controversial and attacks against Christians are common.