1 December, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 08/02/2009
Eight Christians burned alive in Punjab
by Fareed Khan
One of them is a child of 7 years. Among the dead there are 4 women. Religious and militant Islamic fundamentalists were inciting the crowd. The fuel is the same as that used in the destruction of Shanti Nagar (1997); Sangla Hill (2005) and Koriyan, a day before. The police accused of negligence.

Gojra (AsiaNews) - Pakistani special forces have taken control of the town of Gojra (Punjab) after yesterday’s bloody episode in which at least 8 people - including 4 women and a child of 7 years - were burned alive and 20 others wounded. At least 50 houses of Christians were burned and destroyed and thousands of faithful fled to escape execution. Relatives of the victims refuse to take care of dead bodies and do not want funerals until the culprits are arrested. Some of the killed have been identified: Hamed Masih, 50, Asia Bibi, 20; Asifa Bibi, 19, Imam Bibi, 22; Musa 7; Akhlas Masih, 40, Parveen, 50.

At least 3 thousand Muslims, after they have were incited by local religious authorities, marched to the Christian village Gojra founded 50 years ago. Groups of young Muslims - perhaps from the Sunni group Sipah-e-Sahabaha - with their faces covered started to shoot wildly. The villagers fled, but some were trapped and were killed by the uncontrollable fire unleashed by the mob.

To burn the houses, the militants used a particular fuel, that is difficult to extinguish. According to witnesses, the same fuel was used in the village of Shanti Nagar, burned in February 1997, in the destruction of the village of Sangla Hill (2005); in the burning of the 50 houses of Christians and the two churches on the evening of July 30 in Koriyan near Gojra.

It all started weeks ago with charges of blasphemy against Talib Masih, who is accused of having burned pages of the Koran during a wedding ceremony on July 29 at Koriyan.

On July 30 hundreds of Islamic militants attacked and set on fire the houses of Christians in Koriyan and two Protestant churches, the Church of Pakistan and the New Apostolic Church. According to police, some Christians fired shots against the militants, further fuelling their violent response.

The minister for minorities, Beat Shahbaz, a Catholic, has accused the police of negligence. The local Christians say they have been requesting the protection of law enforcement officers for days because the situation was tense, but have been ignored.

Some Christians argue that although the police were present during the attack at Gojra, the thugs were not apprehended. Other witnesses say that after a while the police tried to stop them, but the militants also attacked the police injuring some.

Yesterday, as the news of attacks against Christians spread, in Lahore there was a demonstration to demand guarantees of freedom for Christians.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/05/2014 PAKISTAN - ISLAM
Bishop of Islamabad: Couple burned alive, barbaric act shrouded by a guilty silence
by Jibran Khan - Shafique Khokhar
11/14/2005 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Church leader express solidarity to Christian village attacked
by Peter Jacob
11/13/2005 PAKISTAN
Thousands of Muslims burn Christian churches, convents, schools and homes in Punjab
by Qaiser Felix
04/17/2009 PAKISTAN
Lahore High Court clears two Christians of blasphemy charges
by Qaiser Felix
05/22/2015 PAKISTAN
Pakistan: 106 people on trial for the lynching of a Christian couple, accused of blasphemy

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.