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6/21/2024 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) — Naseem Nazir, wife of Nazir Masih, an elderly Christian who died after being brutally beaten by an angry Muslim mob, died on Friday after suffering a heart attack.

An International Christian Concern (ICC) staffer who had been helping Masih’s family said that Naseem had struggled to overcome the trauma of seeing her beloved husband being brutally beaten.

“She couldn’t get that out of her mind,” the staffer said.

Naseem had recently asked the ICC staffer to pray for her and her family. As he did, she became emotional.

“She was just wailing when she was talking,” the staffer recalled of the prayer time.

Naseem’s funeral took place late Friday. Officers hired to protect the family had told them to make the service as brief as possible for security reasons.

The mob attacked Masih on May 25 after claims that he had burned pages from a Quran circulated throughout the Mujahid colony in Gillwala, a predominantly Christian community in Sargodha. Masih suffered severe head trauma during the attack. He died nine days later at the hospital.

“He was a well-known, respectable, and industrious person in his area,” the ICC staffer said. “He was running a small shoe-making factory and cosmetic shop. His family is a well-to-do family.”

Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws, which are often weaponized against Christians, prohibit the desecration of the Quran. Those who violate the laws are often killed. Sometimes, even Muslims are targeted.

A mob killed a man, reportedly a Muslim, in the Madyan area of Khyber Pakhutunkhwa’s Swat district Thursday night after he allegedly desecrated a Quran. Police had taken the man to the police station; however, a mob attacked the station, took him away, beat him, and set him on fire.

On the morning of the attack that killed Masih, leaders in local mosques called for area Muslims to gather at Masih’s house. Hundreds of people soon started attacking Masih’s home and shoe factory. The mob then attacked him, beating him with bricks and logs. Members of the mob also attacked police as they attempted to make arrests. The mob also attacked the ambulance as it transported Masih to the hospital.

Naseem and other members of her family have also been fearful this last week, the ICC staffer said, after dozens of members of the mob were released from custody on bail just before Eid al-Adha, a holiday that Muslims observed on June 17. Several of the family’s neighbors were among the suspects who were released.

The ICC staffer added that roughly 20 Masih’s extended family members — half of whom lived with Masih — are now fearful whenever they go to the local market or use a public restroom. They fear they are being followed and could be attacked at any moment.

ICC is continuing to evaluate how we can best help Masih’s family.

To read more news stories, visit the ICC Newsroom. For interviews, please email [email protected].