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» 02/04/2013
PAKISTAN
Christian man mortally wounded in Baluchistan for refusing to convert to Islam
by Jibran Khan
Younas Masih, 55, died this afternoon after days in agony. Last Thursday, a gunman shot him five times as he made his way home from work. Recently, his co-workers had tried to force him to embrace Islam. Police has refused so far to open an investigation into his murder.

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.

Speaking anonymously, 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 authorities.

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."


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See also
05/12/2011 PAKISTAN
Punjab: Christian student nurse forced to convert to marry Muslim man
by Jibran Khan
04/09/2005 PAKISTAN
Alleged Easter attackers arrested in Lahore
05/30/2006 PAKISTAN
Around 600 people a year are forcely converted to Islam
by Qaiser Felix
04/08/2013 PAKISTAN
Punjab, convert to Islam or die: The 20 year long nightmare of a Christian family
by Jibran Khan
01/05/2005 EGYPT - ISLAM
Christians jailed since December set free

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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