Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Younas
Masih died this afternoon after he was shot five times last Thursday as he made
his way home. An unknown gunman fired at the 55-year-old Christian man. From the
beginning, his conditions appeared critical. It is believed he was attacked after
he resisted pressures from co-workers to convert to Islam.
Masih worked for a
company in Chaman. His friends describe him as honest and reliable. Strong in
his Christian faith, he was regularly involved in his local parish.
local sources told AsiaNews that Muslim
co-workers had began pressuring him to convert, which he rejected, standing
firm in his beliefs in Christ.
Despite the fact that
people were talking behind his back and had made repeated threats against him,
he continued to work for the same company and stood firm against pressures and
attempts at blackmail.
Last Thursday, his co-workers
tried again, asking him to convert. A heated discussion followed that included
insults and threats. When he went home Masih was attacked by a gunman who fired
five bullets into him.
After he was rushed to
a hospital, his conditions appeared critical from the start. Doctors removed
the bullets and had him moved into the intensive care unit where he eventually died.
His son tried to file a
First Information Report (FIR) with local police who refused to register his
complaint. Despite repeated attempts, they refused to heed the family's pleas
for justice. Devastated by his death, the family now feels abandoned by the
Groups like the Masihi Foundation and Life for All quickly condemned the murder. Acting
on behalf of the family, they expressed their dismay at the lack of action by
police and local authorities,.
For Fr James Chand, a priest in Quetta, killing
a man for his faith is a "tragedy that that breaks one's heart."
Speaking to AsiaNews, he confirmed that Younas Masih had
been repeatedly threatened, adding that "the behaviour of the concerned authorities
was even more devastating."
"We demand protection
for the lives and property of minorities in Pakistan," the clergyman said. "The
authorities must ensure and safeguard the basic rights of minorities and
protect them from hatred and violence."