BREAKING NEWS: Pakistan's Punjab Bans Christian Protests Citing "Terrorism Threats"

Monday, March 22, 2010 | Tag Cloud

By Worthy News Asia Service reporting from Pakistan

The Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi where the couple is being treated for injuries.

PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- Citing "terrorism threats", the government of Pakistan's Punjab province banned protests Monday,  March 22, against the "refusal" by police to detain those who burned a Christian man for not converting to Islam, while raping his wife.

"There is a possible threat of terrorism, so it is better to avoid any processions," the government told Life for All, one of the Christian advocacy groups organizing the demonstrations.

It wasn't clear who had made the threats. Officials of Pakistan's Christian minority expressed concerns however about attacks by Islamic extremists, including fighters linked to al-Qaida and other militant groups.

Monday's demonstrations were to be organized in the cities of Lahore and Rawilpindi, where police and religious leaders allegedly attacked the Christian couple Friday, March 19.


Christian rights groups said they have given "24 hours to the Punjab police to arrest the culprits" and "to compensate the three small children" who were apparently forced to watch the rape of their mother and the burning of their father.

Doctors at the Rawilpindi Holy Family Hospital have warned that 38-year-old Arshed Masih may not survive, with 80 percent of his body burned.

At least three police officers and five Muslim religious leaders participated in the burning incident in front of a Rawilpindi police station, Christians and law enforcement sources said.

The officers are also suspected of having raped his wife, 33-year-old Martha Masih, in the police station where the couple was initially held for questioning, said Police Superintendent Moin Shah.


"The victimized family will get justice," he told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife over the weekend. Martha Masih was also being treated for her injuries at the Holy Family Hospital, said Medical Officer Nasir Javed.

The Christians were reportedly attacked after their Muslim employer, identified as Sheikh Mohammad Sultan,  allegedly got upset because they refused to convert to Islam. Arshed Masih worked as a driver and his wife as a maid for the influential businessman, Christians said.

Javed told Worthy News and BosNewsLife that an investigation into the incident is ongoing. It was unclear whether Sultan had been in contact with police.  He could not be reached for comment.

The case has underscored concerns among rights groups about forceful conversions and other attacks against Christians across Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim nation. (Worthy News and BosNewsLife Asia Service includes correspondents often working in difficult circumstances. In some cases, including this report, their names are not mentioned due to security concerns. With editing by Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos).

Also Read: BREAKING NEWS: Pakistan Authorities Investigate Burning, Rape, Of Christian Couple

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3 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Pakistan's Punjab Bans Christian Protests Citing "Terrorism Threats"”

  1. Praying!

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18


    "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." Joel 2:32

    Save Now LORD!

  2. Heavenly father, I pray for the burn victim, Arshed Masih, his wife Martha, and their three children. I pray that they would not lose their faith in you in spite of this overwhelming trial they have endured. I pray that you would strongly encourage the police into making proper arrests, and that those guilty of this hideous crime would be held accountable. I pray also for peace and, healing restoration for the Masih family. I ask that Arshed Masih's suffering would not be prolonged; I ask that you either heal him, or call him home to you. I pray for souls effected by this attack, as well as other attacks on your children. I even lift up the souls of the oppressors to you, Lord, that they would be strongly encouraged to turn from their sick, evil ways and put their trust in you. May you be glorified, Heavenly Father. In Jesus' name-AMEN!

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