By Joseph DeCaro
(Worthy News) - Pakistan's Christian community has just commemorated the first anniversary of the murder of a Christian couple burned alive after falsely being accused of blasphemy.
According to International Christian Concern, on Nov. 4, Shehzad Masih and his pregnant wife, Shama, were murdered by a mob of Muslims in Kot Radha Kishan village in Pakistan's Kasur District. The couple was beaten and then burned alive in the same brick kiln where they worked.
The mob was incited by local clerics using mosque loudspeakers to claim that the couple had committed blasphemy by burning pages of the Quran. Police who attempted to intervene were overwhelmed by the mob.
Although a few international charities stepped in to provide assistance on behalf of the murdered couple's children, Pakistan's promises for compensation never materialized.
"What happened to this Christian couple is what Christians in Pakistan fear most if accused of blasphemy," said William Stark, ICC Regional Manager for South Asia. "The fear of mob violence and extra-judicial killing -- which is commonplace when a Christian is accused of blasphemy -- is a powerful tool in the hands of extremists looking to persecute already vulnerable Christians. One positive development that has come out of this incident is that local police have become more responsive when Christians have been accused of blasphemy ... Still, more must be done by both Pakistan's police and government to curb the abuse of the country's notorious blasphemy laws. Until this is done, it is only a matter of time until another Christian is brutally murdered after being accused of blasphemy."
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