22 March 2018

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04/05/2007 PAKISTAN

Life of 11-year-old Christian in danger even though he is not charged with anything

Blasphemy accusations have been made against five Christians, the youngest a 16-year-old, after a quarrel between boys that was blamed on the 11-year-old. Local Christians are afraid that he might become the target of violence.

Toba Tek Singh (AsiaNews) – He may not be personally accused of anything, but the life of Daniel Masih is still in danger. The 11-year-old Christian from Punjab is still mixed up in an alleged blasphemy case involving another minor, 16-year-old, Rashid Masih, this according to additional investigations into the affair which has touched the Christian community of Toba Tek Singh.

The boy’s “life is at stake but he has not been charged with blasphemy. We are afraid that he has become a target for local Muslims who have pressed charges against five local Christians after he got involved in a quarrel with Muslim kids.”

Although accusations of blasphemy were laid against the five Christians last Sunday, “Daniel is not under investigation. The five are: Salamat Masih, 41, the only one arrested so far; Rashid Masih, a 16-year-old minor; Sahba Mashi Motta, Sheela Masih and Bao Masih”.

Whatever the case, “Daniel’s life is in danger because the accusations are based on a quarrel he had with some Muslim boys.”

“Daniel had a row with other kids in Toba Tek Singh and their disagreement reached the parents who also quarrelled. Perhaps the blasphemy accusation was a way to get back at the Christians,” said Fr Bonnie Mendes, a local priest.

In fact, “during the procession for the Eid-e-Millad-ul-Nabi, Muslim parents started spreading rumours about Christians, saying that they were blasphemers who insulted the prophet. They even prodded the faithful in the procession to help them wipe away the shame,” he explained.

The mob then “moved towards the Christian area, Boarding Road, and began throwing stones at Christian houses. They were armed with sticks and bricks. A 25-year-old disabled Christian man, Ratan Masih, was hurt.”

As if that was not enough, “they filed charges against five men,” the priest said. “Now Salamat is in prison, and we are very worried about little Daniel, who could become a target.”

See also

29/05/2006 PAKISTAN
Without evidence police arrest Christian on blasphemy charges
A Christian from Karachi is arrested for allegedly sending blasphemous cellphone messages "as revenge for last month's attacks against churches by Muslims." Human rights activists demand that he not be remanded into police custody because too many people die in prison without trial.

09/10/2006 PAKISTAN
Two Catholics arrested for blasphemy against the Qur'an
James Masih and Buta Masih, both 70, are accused of burning some pages of the Qur'an. The two illiterate men are jailed despite the lack of witnesses. The Bishop of  Faisalabad protests the vulnerability Pakistani Christians must endure. He calls on the faithful to pray for those jailed on the basis of lies.

01/03/2018 16:07:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistan’s Catholic and Protestant Churches condemn the torture of a young Christian (video)

Sajid Masih jumped from a window in the Punjab police headquarters to escape police abuse. After days of waiting at the hospital, he was operated on his legs yesterday. Christian leaders call for an independent inquiry, demanding justice. His cousin Patras is still in custody for alleged blasphemy.

27/11/2006 PAKISTAN
Two Christian men sentenced to ten years in prison for "blasphemy"
Despite the lack of evidence a court in Faisalabad condemns two Catholic men for burning some pages of the Qur'an. For their attorney the verdict was influenced by Muslim extremists.

27/02/2018 16:46:00 PAKISTAN
Christians fast to save young man wounded during an interrogation

Two protests are held at the same time in Lahore and Karachi. Sajid Masih is in a Lahore hospital. The Christian man jumped from the window of the Punjab police headquarters to escape torture by agents.

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