06/16/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On May 20, 14-year-old Harry Masih was stabbed in Lahore, Pakistan, following a dispute with a Muslim. The incident is only the latest example of how religiously motivated discrimination in Pakistan can escalated into incidents of deadly persecution.
A local activist informed International Christian Concern (ICC) that Ali Muhammad, the perpetrator of the attack, called Masih a ‘Choora’, a common slur used to denote Pakistani Christians as untouchable, while Masih was walking down the street. Masih reacted to the insult and reportedly told Ali to stop using the slur to abuse Christians.
The discussion quickly turned violent, and Muhammad attacked Masih with a knife. Masih was taken to the local hospital where he received 70 stiches in his stomach.
A police report was filed against Muhammad, however, Muhammad was soon released from custody after receiving interim bail. A court hearing has been scheduled for mid-June, where Masih’s lawyer will ask the court to cancel Muhammad’s bail. Outside of the court, Masih’s family is facing pressure from Muhammad’s family and local Muslims to drop all charges.
In response to this pressure, a member of Masih’s family told ICC, “We want to follow the law for justice.”
Due to widespread religious discrimination, Christians in Pakistan are often viewed as second-class citizens. This discrimination determines the jobs Christians work, the neighborhoods in which they live, and even the behavior that is deemed socially acceptable. Christians seen violating this discriminatory social structure are often met with violence for which perpetrators enjoy almost complete impunity.
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