11/15/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On November 10, a Christian home in the Al-Noor Town neighborhood of Lahore, Pakistan was set on fire by two unidentified arsonists. According to the Christian victim, the attack on his home is just the latest attempt to drive his family out of the neighborhood.
“I never thought we would face this much hatred for not selling our house,” Manzoor Masih told International Christian Concern (ICC). “It’s really heartbreaking and disappointing for a Christian living in this country.”
According to Masih, he and his family were on the ground floor of their home when neighbors shouted to them that a room on the upper floor had caught fire.
“I rushed upstairs, but could not save anything,” Masih told ICC. “The fire was extremely hot and it melted the stuff inside.”
According to witnesses, two motorcycles were seen throwing a packet into the window of the room that caught fire. Witnesses claim that the identified motorcyclists came from a Eid Miladul Nabi religious rally.
“It looks like they used some chemical which turned all the stuff into ashes within no time,” Masih explained. “The fire damaged beds, mattresses, furniture, trunks, cloths, crookery, fans, computers, the UPS, and the entire electric system.”
“For the last six months, different groups keep pressuring my family to leave this neighborhood and go to a Christian settlement,” Masih told ICC. “However, we never gave into their threats.”
Muhammad Mehmood, a local Muslim, condemned the arson attack on the Masih family. “This is an act of hatred and discrimination,” Mehmood told ICC. “Islam is a religion of love and peace and teaches us to take care of our neighbors. Therefore, I feel sorry for what Masih and his family have experienced.”
“This is not the first time that a Christian family has faced challenges in this neighborhood,” Mehmood continued. “About ten years back, this was Christians-majority neighborhood. However, investors kicked many of them out and got possession over their properties. Now, there are only a few Christian families living in this neighborhood.”
According to Masih, Mehmood extended a small token of solidarity to the suffering family in order to promote love and respect for every individual. To date, Masih has not registered a report with the police, but the incident has been reported to the fire brigade.
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