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6/11/2024 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) — It is an unfortunate reality that many Christians in Pakistan live in fear that they could be the next target of Islamic extremism. This reality does not often make headlines outside the country, but in rare cases, an exceptionally disturbing incident will briefly capture the international community’s attention. 

We saw this last year after the violent mob attacks in Jaranwala, and we are seeing it again following the death of Nazir Masih, a Christian shoe store owner who was beaten to death and whose business was looted and burned during the attack.  

Following his death last week, a protest took place on June 8 in Lahore. Protestors demanded that the government hold the attackers accountable and that it repeal the blasphemy laws that encouraged the mob violence that led to Masih’s death.  

Protestors also called for laws that would criminalize the hundreds of false accusations of blasphemy that are regularly made under the current laws and demanded the government care for and protect Nazir’s family members, who continue to live in fear.  

The protest drew from an incredibly diverse crowd in a rare moment of unity between Christians and Muslims, as leaders and members of both faiths demanded an end to religious violence. History suggests there will be no change, but we continue to pray for a change in Pakistan and the continued protection of the Christian minority population there.

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