ASIA/PAKISTAN - Extremists threaten Christians after a blasphemy case in Punjab

Friday, 13 May 2016 blasphemy   violence   islam  


Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "It is a case of abuse of the blasphemy law, where the Christian community risks collective punishment. We are concerned, we call on the authorities to guarantee peace and hope there are no violent acts or negative consequences for Christians": said the Archbishop of Lahore, Sebastian Shaw to Agenzia Fides with regards to a case in Bahauddinin Mandi district in Pakistani Punjab. Some Islamic leaders have issued a "fatwa" (religious decree) calling for the death of a Christian boy accused of blasphemy. The incident occurred in a village near the area of Bosaan and is registered in Gojra police station. In the area there are 4,000 Muslim and only 45 Christian families, about 300 faithful.
Some fanatics have accused the young Imran Masih of having committed acts of blasphemy. The young man had videos of a Christian Pastor criticizing Islam on his mobile. Some of his colleagues, who saw the video, accused him of watching and spreading blasphemous material and denounced him to the local Islamic clerics, who issued the fatwa and filed the complaint of blasphemy. Imran fled to save his life. The fanatics are asking him to surrender and want to burn him in front of the church. Otherwise, they are threatening to seek revenge with all the Christian inhabitants of the area, burning and destroying the homes of all the Christians in the village. Among the faithful there is great fear and insecurity. Some local leaders have turned to the authorities asking for protection, in order to avoid violence or reprisals of the crowd. Currently, in a climate of tension, the government has allocated a police contingent in the village to prevent violence. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/05/2016)

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