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05/10/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – A pastor in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi received a letter on May 1 warning him that his church would be the site of a terrorist attack unless he paid a ransom of more than $3,500.00. The threat has many church leaders in Karachi on edge and calling on local authorities to provide their communities with protection.

On May 1, Pastor Naveed Azeem found an envelope near a shoe rack outside of his Assembly of God Church. Within, he found a handwritten letter demanding he pay $3,500.00 within 10 days or “dig up 50 graves”. The letter also warned that if Pastor Azeem went to police, there would be consequences like the recent terrorist attacks on churches in Sri Lanka.

Pastor Azeem filed a police complaint against unknown individuals after he took the council of local church leaders. Father Anthony Abraz, one of these local church leaders, has expressed how local Christians have been put on edge by this threat.

Speaking to UCA News, Fr. Abraz said, “Given what happened in Sri Lanka, it is terrifying not only for the pastor but for the entire community and those who attend the prayer service at the church.

There is a growing sense of insecurity among the already marginalized minorities,” Fr. Abraz explained to UCA News. “But we have to trust our government and law enforcement agencies.

Today marks ten days since the letter was discovered by Pastor Azeem. So far, no violence against Pastor Azeem’s church has been reported. However, the Christians that attend worship there and in other churches around Karachi remain on edge.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].