Priest Faces Extreme Roles


Punjab, Pakistan - focus on Okara City in red

Intro Shamim Masih – ‘Priest Faces Extreme Roles’

Edited by John R. Houk

Posted June 17, 2014

 

Shamim reports on how Muslim robbers burgled an Anglican Priest in a Christian community within Okara City of Punjab Province Pakistan. Here is supplemental info that Shame did not include:

 

… [T]he Priest and his whole family for four hours. The robbers robbed the priest and forcibly snatched all [his] valuables household things including some gold jewelry.

 

In the meanwhile, the watchman heard the crying and noise of Children and his wife. The watchman [awoke] the whole Christian village and surrounded the priest’s house. The other three unknown robber accomplices ran away seeing the villagers coming towards them.

 

The robbers opened fired at the villagers and also shot at the Priest and his family but they all [were] miraculously saved. The Christian villagers competed bravely with the robbers and rescued the hostage family of the priest.

 

… They told that the relatives of the robbers were making threats to burn the whole Christian village as [Muslims did] recently burning Joseph Colony [in] Lahore, if they would not agree to compromise with [the relatives] and [force the] release of the robbers from jail by giving a favorable statement [pertaining to] the robbers.

 

“My family is not safe now in that village and I have requested the Rt. Rev. Irfan Jamil Bishop of Lahore to transfer me to some other Church congregation”, told Rev. Hanook David.

 

“I have also requested the police for security and also to Bishop of Lahore to give me some security for our safety because now the relatives of the robbers are openly making threats to me to face dire consequences if I would not compromise with them. We have seen death very near to us because the robbers opened firing at us but Our Lord Jesus saved us,” he added further.

 

… (Priest’s life miraculously saved on the intervention of watchman; By LEAD Family; LEAD Family (Pakistan) blog; 6/5/14 6:01 AM [Blog Editor: I felt compelled to edit for better comprehension by American readers])

 

JRH 6/17/14

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Priest Faces Extreme Roles

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 6/15/2014 12:53 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: The spike in attacks against the Christians’ community makes Pakistan one of the most world’s dangerous counties for religious minorities. Pastor Hanook David and his family were assaulted by some extremists in the midnight [hour].

 

According to the details, a Christian priest, David and his family were sleeping in the courtyard of his house in the village Bethlehem chuck No. 2, Okara city in Province Punjab. During midnight; five men; reportedly jumped into his house with weapons. The attackers tormented the family members, snatched the valuable material and locked them in washroom.

 

Bethlehem is a Christian village in district Okara, with more than eighty Christian families [who] work as laborers or peasants. The young villagers guard the houses during the night, luckily on this same day, the guard force watched a few unknown people in the streets and heard the sob and rushed towards the pastor’s house. They gathered around the house and asked them to surrender. In the meanwhile; the villagers also woke up and called the police officials. After a few hours [of apprehending] exercise, the villagers were able to hand them to the police. The priest told by telephone that although the police arrested them [for a short time], [then] they set them free after a while. It would not be the first time the local police in Pakistan concocted a story to aid a Muslim attacker.

 

The case was registered FIR 138/14 in Chochak police station, but the Investigation Officer (IO) Mohammad Murtaza and SHO Haji Saif al Rehman reportedly demanded a bribe to precede the case.

 

Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministries Pakistan (SLMP) went there with his team and looked into the matter [and] said I am not surprised to hear [about the bribery demand] as it is another manifestation of the extreme anti-Christian bigotry that pervades Pakistani society and culture as a whole. [Pakistan is in] a state of extreme moral bankruptcy.

 

Recently a Christian MPA in Baluchistan was shot dead by his own security guard and Shahbaz Bhatti former Federal Minister for Minorities was assassinated in the capital of Pakistan but police concocted the story to aid the attackers, he added. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate additions by the Editor. Links within Shamim’s report are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
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Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

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Muslims Vandalized a Church Under Construction


Pakistan Political Map Okara Circled

Shamim Masih writes about Christians being persecuted by armed Muslims in the Okara District destroying a Church under construction then threatening the Christians. Corroborating Shamim report:

 

Pakistan: March 4, 2014. (Amir Parvez) More than one dozen extremist Muslims equipped with fire arms attacked foundation construction of a Church in village Chack Number 3/4L, in Okara district of Punjab province of Pakistan.

There are more than 50 Christian families in village Chack Number 3/4L who laid foundation of Church on their land and board of Church was installed but on March 2, 2014, at 9; 00 am more than dozen Muslims riding on a tractor trolley reached on Church site and vandalized Church foundation.

The Muslim attackers pulled down the Church board on which verses of Holy Bible were written with tractor on which they came; When Christians of village came out of homes to safe the Church foundation the Muslims attackers pulled guns on them and injured them with sticks.

The attackers were shouting slogans “No construction of Church in our village”“ (sic) No worship places of infidel Christians” which spread fear among Christian men and women of the village.  (Extremist Muslim vandalize Church foundations in a village near Okara; By Amir Parvez; Pakistan Christian Post; 3/4/14)

 

JRH 3/7/14

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Muslims Vandalized a Church Under Construction

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 3/6/2014 8:27 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Religious freedom is guaranteed under Pakistan’s constitution, but discriminatory legislation punishes those who choose to actively follow the Christian faith and places restriction on the Church.  Restriction on spreading the gospel publically [and] is reportedly banned. And [it is the] same with constructing new Churches. And honestly speaking, I am being beaten up by the radical Muslims in Mansrah district [for] selling religious books when [I] voluntarily worked with Operation Mobilization (OM team in Pakistan).

 

Christians of the Okara district dared to construct a new Church building along with a Christian school on a two-kanal piece of land owned by Akber Masih, one of their community members in the last week. But their dreams didn’t come true when a day after they had partially constructed a church building and installed a cross, radical Muslims came in and damaged the building first with their hands and later they ploughed the ground with the help of a tractor.

 

The investigation officer – IO Mohammad Javed – told that police have registered a First Investigation Report (FIR) and [are] raiding to arrest the accused.

 

Sohail Johnson, head of Sharing Life Ministries, reached there with his team and crop up; talking on the telephone he said that the FIR under section 295 – A and 506 – B of Pakistan Penal Code against ten people for damaging the church and defaming a Cross is registered but the police have not been able to arrest the accused so far. He said that Christians in Pakistan face discrimination in its different forms and are not protected in the country. He added that we are equal citizens of this country and our forefathers have shed their blood for this piece of land. We will fight for our rights if not rendered and in this struggle we will not spare any one. He demanded the Chief Minister to take strict measures against the perpetrators.

 

Farrukh H Saif, chief of WVIP said that we have been struggling against discriminatory laws for decades and will not leave any stone unturned to achieve the rights of our people. The Blasphemy law is used for vested interests and minority girls are raped and married forcefully.

  

Earlier in September 21, 2012 St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mardan [was] burnt by radical Muslims, and a year [later] in September 22, 2013 [around a] hundred [were] killed and over 150 injured in Peshawar church attack. Two Churches in Joseph Colony, Lahore were set ablaze with 150 houses of Christians to take revenge of the blasphemy allegedly committed by a Christian man. 

 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate editorial input. All links by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General 

REAP

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
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Initial Report on Badami Bagh


 

Sawan-Masih-accused-of-Blasphemy

 

Sawan Masih Behind Bars

 

I have been following that depravity of Pakistan Muslims through the reporting of Shamim Masih concerning the religious persecution of Christians (HERE and HERE). In this recent case it involves yet another Blasphemy Law accusation as a means of manipulating the law for selfish Muslim reasons of vengeance and/or greed. A dispute between drinking buddies – one a Christian and another is a Muslim – led to the charge of blaspheming Mohammed and evolved to the pillaging of an entire Christian community by thousands of Muslims.

 

The drinking buddies were the Christian Sawan Masih and the Muslim Shahid Imran. I am guessing Sawan is not a holiness Pentecostal so drinking is acceptable at least in moderation (yeah right, I think I read Sawan owned the drinking establishment) and Shahid is specifically prohibited by Islamic Sharia to drink alcohol. I have to wonder the Islamic Clerics did not condemn Shahid for drinking and perhaps inciting blasphemous language that ensues from a drunken argument, right?

 

Anyway, here is the best report I have read so far on Sawan Masih and the pillaging violence executed on the Christian community Joseph Colony.

 

JRH 3/12/13

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Initial Report on Badami Bagh

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 3/11/2013 10:28 AM

 

I am really sad to share about an inimical incident of inhuman violence against Christians in Pakistan. I am speechless to share with you the story of inhuman violence. Anyhow I am sending you the initial report of Carnage of Joseph Colony:

 

Initial Report on Joseph Colony Massacre, Badami Bagh, Lahore:

 

Basic Information;

 

On March 08, 2013 around at 06:00 hours (PST), I was informed about an unpleasant alleged incident of blasphemy in the Christian vicinity of Joseph Colony, near General Bus Stand which is North of Lahore-Punjab, Pakistan. I was also informed about the registration of Blasphemy case FIR offence under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) registered against a Christian. Keeping in view the sensitivity of the blasphemy incident the British Pakistani Christian Association sent its representative Shamim to Lahore for fact-finding, so he went there immediately and visited the place of the occurrence and noted down the following facts:

 

Background alleged accused of Blasphemy:

 

The alleged accused was identified as Sawan Masih used to be called Boodi, aged 35 son of Chaman Masih and resident of Joseph Colony; Noor Road; Badami Bagh, Lahore. He is a Sweeper (sanitary worker) by profession and is a father of three children. Before the alleged incident of blasphemy he was residing with his parents in a joint family system. His house is located at the front row of the vicinity of Joseph Colony and he was habitual drinker.

 

Sawan and the complainant Shahid Imran (barber by profession) were cordial with each other and their friendship was known to everyone in the locality. They were good friends for the last 8 years and both, together drinkers.

 

Background blasphemy incident:

 

On March 05, 2013 (Tuesday) around at 07:00 PM both Sawan Masih and Shahid Imran were drinking and all of sudden they started quarreling with each other and a scuffle took place between them on the trivial matter. When the neighboring Christians noticed their brawl and exchange of abusive language, they intervened and for the time being the uncertain quarrel was arbitrated by the fellow residents. Shahid Imran took grudge in his heart and became annoyed with Sawan Masih. The complainant Shahid Imran also felt ashamed that a Christian he insulted him and he threatened Sawan with dire consequences. The complainant Shahid Imran went to teach a lesson to Sawan Masih and in this connection he cunningly made a plan with Shafiq Ahmed to implicate Sawan Masih in the false case of blasphemy. Later Shafiq Ahmed and Shahid Imran informed the cleric of the area mosque Qari Saifullaha about the false & forged incident of blasphemy.

 

The first attack:

 

On March 08, 2013 (Friday) around at 04:00 PM the cleric announced through the loudspeakers of the mosque. The cleric alleged that the accused Sawan Masih has committed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.  Following the broadcast, thousands of Muslims residents gathered and marched towards Joseph Colony chanting slogans and started throwing stones at the houses of Christians. Thousands protestors demanded immediate arrest of Sawan Masih and also attacked on the houses of Christians. The angry protesters also started looting and crushing the households of Christians. In the meanwhile the police reached the spot and the protesters escaped from the place of occurrence. The attack resulted in so many losses including the breakdown of a snooker table [As an American I was clueless about snooker tables. According to Wikipedia the sport of snooker table is similar to billiards and is a highly regarded sport in former British colonies of which Pakistan was once a part] and the burning and crushing of households etc. Secondly, the police warned the Christians to vacate their houses immediately. (This shows that the administration was aware of it [rapacious pillaging]). The innocent Christians including women and Children immediately evacuated their houses wearing single cloths, leavening behind their houses & possessions. However, many of the Christians were beaten badly. The vehicle of a local bishop Akram Gill was damaged inhumanly.

 

Registration of Blasphemy case FIR:

 

Later, the complainant filed an application and registered a blasphemy case FIR No. 112/13 offence 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) registered against Sawan Masih at the Police Station, Badami Bagh, Lahore. Shamim found that the alleged accused of blasphemy Sawan Masih was hiding himself from the violent attack whereas the police arrested his father Chaman Masih. The father was badly beaten by the police. His father totally denied the allegations and later released. Finally, the alleged accused of blasphemy Sawan Masih was handed over to the police.

 

The second attack:

 

On March 09, 2013 near about 09:30 a fully charged-up mob of almost 4,000 religious zealots gathered around Joseph Colony, led by Shafiq Ahmed, who was in search of the accused Sawan Masih. The heavy contingent of police was deployed near the colony and later, the mob in the presence of the police entered in the colony and started looting and above 200 hundred houses ravaged with fires. Two Churches along with a Chapel were vandalized and approximately 500 hundred Bibles were burnt, the furniture and other belonging of the school was also burnt. The Christian houses, eight shops, many motorcycles, auto rickshaws, electricity meters, gas meters, iron rods used in the roofs were melted down. On the floor, furniture, trunks, crockery and many more items were burnt totally.

 

The episode of unspeakable violence in the name of religion [Islamic religion that is] began at 09:30 in the morning and did not conclude till the afternoon. An interesting point was that the large numbers of police were present on the spot and did not avert the angry protesters from further damage. The protesters executed this exercise freely and without any fears for five hours and the police did not intervene nor stopped the violent mob. Some Christian youths saved themselves in the nick of time as they fled from the scene.

 

Whereas the police ensured us that unless the alleged accused is arrested – making clear to the Christian leadership – that the police will not be able to rescue the Christians. Despite all this, the protesters continued to claim that they would not let the Christian families return until Sawan’s arrest. It was clearly shown that the police failed to inform the protesters about Sawan’s arrest. And the police failed to tell the Muslims about the registration of a blasphemy case FIR against Sawan Masih.

 

I headed the fact-finding along with a few other people; Mr. Sardar Mushtaq Gill (Social Mobilizer), Mr. Yasoob Bhatti, a social rights activist.

 

Urgent needs

 

At present the victims immediately need food, clothing, crockery, beddings, clean water, tea, biscuits and medicines etc.

 

The Christians in Pakistan staged peaceful protest demonstration throughout Pakistan and at some places the police unjustly stopped the protesters and the clash resulted between police and the Christian protesters.

 

I am sharing this initial report and highlight the significant section of the incident and assuring you that within a few days I will be able to share the full report.

 

If you need further clarification please let me know.

 

We gravely need your prayers and support.

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

_______________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate an editor addition for clarity that is not a part of the original email.

 

© Shamim Masih

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

President

REAP
Public Affairs coordinator

UMJI

 

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank :                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC :         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank :                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC :                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank :         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number :                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank :                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC :         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank :                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC :                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank :         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number :                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank :                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC :         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank :                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC :                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank :         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number :                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

 

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