ASIA/PAKISTAN - Two Christians killed on the outskirts of Karachi, the faithful, in terror, raise a wall

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - Two Christians were killed with a firearm in the district of Essa Nagri, on the outskirts of Karachi, by Muslim extremist groups of ethnic Pashtuns who terrorize the population. This is what is reported to Fides Agency by Fr. Victor John, Catholic priest from Essa Nagri, who this afternoon will celebrate the funeral of two men killed: Nasir Masih, a Catholic, and Rafi Masih, a Protestant. This is the third attack in two weeks in the Christian suburb (four deaths in total) targeted by extremist groups that act undisturbed, without the police stopping them.
The incident happened two days ago, on September 15, when a group of criminals on motorcycles entered in the district threatening the residents, asking for bribes to commercial activities, and ordered the collection of the "Jizya" (the tax imposed in accordance with the sharia, on non-Muslim minorities). In a fight the extremists killed two Christian men in the street n. 7 of the area and wounded two others.
As explained by Fr. Victor, "the faithful, to protect themselves, decided to build a wall and close an entrance of Essa Nagri, the one facing the Muslim area, home to the Pashtun and Baluchi groups. Now Essa Nagri is a ghetto, with a single access door. " Christians, victims of ongoing violence, also organized an internal security service, to try to prevent further violence and attacks that are destroying Essa Nagri, a densely populated neighborhood, home to some 50,000 Christians, in conditions of extreme poverty and lack of basic services.
Fr. Victor is today celebrating a funeral for the two killed, right in the Street n. 7. It was also decided that they will be buried in the multi-denominational Christian church "Awama Church" ("Church of All") and will not be taken to the cemetery which is located outside the area "to avoid further unrest or provocation, since the situation is tense, even due to the recent Muslim protests against the film 'The innocence of the Muslims." "We call on Christian faithful not to take revenge, to always be peaceful, even in legitimate protests. We call on the police to protect the poor population of Essa Nagri, for months victims of patent abuse, " concludes the pastor.
Among the latest victims, on September 12, the Christian Yousaf Masih was killed and on 29 August the Catholic boy Faisal Masih (see Fides 31/08/2012). (PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/09/2012)

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