In Hyderabad in the Sindh Province of Pakistan, a church was celebrating its 30th anniversary when a dispute broke out, according to Compass Direct News.
A group of Muslim youths was standing outside the church teasing Christian women as they arrived. Four Christian men heard the commotion and came out to defend the women. An argument between the believers and the Muslims eventually caused the Muslims to leave. They left only to return, however, with guns.
The youths shot all four men, killing Younis Masih, 47, and Jameel Masih, 22, immediately. Siddique Masih, 45, and Waseem, 20, were still seriously injured at last report.
Younis is survived by his wife and four children. Jameel left his new wife behind, who he had married just one month prior. His wife has not spoken since she heard of her husband’s death.
So far, police have been all but silent on the case. Family members of the deceased reported that in order to get the police to even register the case, they were forced to block the main Hyderabad Expressway with several people as well as the dead bodies. At that point, police filed a case and arrested some innocent teenagers who, family believe, were only arrested to appease senior officials. Jameel’s uncle says he has little hope for justice.
Persecution against Christians in Pakistan seems to be heating to boiling point. Another believer, Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, was murdered at the beginning of the month. Just recently another believer died in jail, allegedly from natural causes, but many believe he was murdered as well. These two deaths bring the death toll for Pakistan to four murdered Christians in March alone.
These reports are confirmed by Open Doors, USA.
Pray for Pakistan. Two major leaders against the country’s highly disputed blasphemy law have been killed in recent months, both of their deaths commended by radical Muslims. Pray that the apparent laxity in punishment in such cases would decrease, and even get the attention of other nations. Pray that the ongoing, celebrated persecution of believers would not encourage others to follow suit, but would instead outrage the Pakistani government to action.
Pray finally for believers to be bold about their faith, rather than fearful. Pray that the church would continue to grow, even in the midst of worst persecution. MNN