Pakistan: Christian children are the focus of Muslim wrath

Sunil Yaqoob Masih, a Christian from Faisalabad, was murdered and his organs removed.

 

Last week in Pakistan, Waiz Masih – a 14-yer-old Christian boy living in Islamabad – was murdered by young Muslims following a “discussion on religion,” according to the Fides news service. Savagely beaten to death, Masih’s body was thrown into a ditch. Other cases that have galvanized international attention included the bizarre murder of Sunil Yaqoob Masih, an orphaned Catholic from Faisalabad, whose body was found mutilated with several organs removed. In another case, Rimsha Masih, an 11-year-old Christian boy, has been arrested and kept in jail on charges of offending Islam. 
 
The recurring stream of offenses against the tiny minority of Christians in Pakistan appears to stem from various rationales. For example, more than 700 Christian girls are raped, forced to convert to Islam and then married against their will to Mohammedans. Christians are also murdered over property disputes with Muslims who accuse them of blasphemy, causing Muslim religious leaders to declare Christians fair game for retribution. Some Christians are murdered simply to harvest their organs, such as kidneys. Many Christian girls are forced into prostitution.
 
Christian organizations and human rights defenders have recently highlighted a number of offenses against the Christian community in Pakistan:
- Amaria Masih, an 18-year-old Catholic, raped and murdered on November 27, 2011 in the Punjab region of Pakistan by Arif Gujjar, a young Muslim man, who sought to marry and convert her forcibly to Islam.  She has been defined the "Maria Goretti of Pakistan". St Maria Goretti was an Italian girl of the early 20th century who was raped and murdered by her assailant. As in the case of Goretti, the family of Amaria has forgiven the murderer. 
 
- Sabir Bashir, a Christian teenager, was tortured and murdered in October 2011 in the Punjab by Muslims seeking to seize land from Christians. Muslims attacked the children of Christian landholders, killing Sabir and injuring others. 
 
- Anna Masih, a 12-year-old Christian girl who aided her family by scavenging garbage near Lahore, was abducted and repeatedly raped for eight months by a gang of Islamic militants. Traumatized and mentally exhausted, she was forcibly converted to Islam and married against her will.
 
- A Christian family of five was murdered in 2011 for refusing to leave their predominantly Muslim village. Four Christian children were among the dead. 
- Farah Hatim, a Catholic girl, was abducted and forced to marry and convert to Islam in the city of Rahim Yar Khan in the Punjab. Her case has been brought to the attention of the United Nations. 
 
- Two Christian girls, Rebbecca Masih and Saima Masih, were abducted by a group of Muslims in the district of Jhung, in Faisalabad. They were forced to convert to Islam and marry a rich local businessman and become part of his harem. 
 
- Shazia Bashir, a 12-year-old Christian girl, was raped and murdered in January 2010. A wealthy Muslim attorney,  Chaudhry Naeem, was accused of the crime but acquitted. 
 
- Kiran George, a girl from Sheikhupura, died on March 10, 2010 after a Muslim police officer doused her with gasoline and set her on fire. Kiran had been enslaved by a woman who sold children into sexual bondage to Muslims. 


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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