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2013-06-10

ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christians "treated like animals" by Muslims in Punjab

Kasur (Agenzia Fides) - Christians are "treated like animals", they are denied the dignity of human beings: is the complaint that reaches Fides from Kasur district, in the Punjab province, a district already known for the case of rape, still unpunished, regarding the Christian 15-year-old Fouzia Bibi (see Fides 04/06/2013). The non-governmental organization "Lead" (Legal Evangelical Association Development "), reported to Fides another episode in which the Christians of Kasur suffer abuse and ill-treatment by the Muslims.
In recent days, some local Muslims abused, mocked, hit and publicly humiliated Christian men and women, agricultural workers or pastors. As reported to Fides, to unleash the physical and psychological violence was a minor encroachment of some flocks of the Christian Shoukat Masih, in the lands of a few Muslims. The animals were seized and when the faithful went to claim them, the beating started. On June 2, some Muslim men broke into the home of a Christian family, hitting the three women Arshad Bibi, Sajida and Saruyia, stripping them and then forcing them to run naked through the streets, while they were ridiculed and harassed, under the eyes of all the inhabitants of the village, who did not intervene. The same humiliating treatment was reserved to two Christian elders, Shoukat Masih’s parents. When they expressed the willingness to report the matter, "some police officers also raided our house along with Muslims owners and threatened ì to get us involved in a criminal case," says Shoukat Masih.
The faithful turned to rev. Saleem Gill to seek legal assistance. It was thus possible to register a formal complaint ("First Information Report") on the incident. Other Christian family said they had suffered abuse and were ill-treated by Muslim landowners, who are their employers. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/06/2013)

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