Pakistan: Islamists target Christians for abduction and extortion

Armed gangs of Islamic radical militants continue to terrorize the Christians of the Essa Nagri district, the largest Christian settlement in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. Approximately 50,000 Christians live in Essa Nagri, where they have been suffering unspeakable violence for months. Members of Pakistan's Muslim-majority parliament have been kept regularly informed of the violence perpetrated by Islamists.

According to the Fides news service, on June 2, Kala Masih, a Christian boy, was kidnapped by a group of armed men who beat him and demanded ransom from his poverty-stricken family. However, a local Christian NGO called 'Mission and Action for Social Services (MASS),' managed to secure his release within hours. The boy's family has refused file a police report, fearing retaliation while also stating that they do not have any confidence in the police.

Terrorists later targeted workers belonging to MASS who were promoting various social projects in Essa Nagri. On June 8, Aslam Masih, who works for MASS and lives in the district, was beaten by Muslim radicals, who demanded a large sum of money in exchange for his life. The family, terrified, was transferred to an undisclosed location. As of filing, there was no further word about Masih's fate. 



Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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