British Asian Christians condemn attack on innocent Christians in Pakistan: CSL
29 Apr 2009
London, England: April 29, 2009 (PCP) In Pakistan, the Taliban's growing strength is making it more difficult for Christians-- even those living outside Taliban controlled areas.
In Taliban system Bibles are illegal. Music and singing are banned and punishments include flogging and amputations. Sharing the message of Christ is also punishable by death.
Last week on Tuesday night and Wednesday (April 21-22, 2009) near the port city of Karachi – some 1,000 kilometers (nearly 700 miles) from the Swat Valley, where the government officially allowed the Taliban to establish Islamic law this month – heightened fears. Christians in Taiser Town, near Karachi, noticed on the walls of their Church graffiti that read, “Long Live the Taliban” and calls for Christians to either convert to Islam or pay the “Jiziaa”, a poll tax under Sharia (Islamic law) paid by non-Muslims for protection if they decline to convert.
As members of the congregation erased the graffiti, armed men intervened to stop them. Soon 30-40 others arrived as support and began to fire indiscriminately at the crowd, leaving several injured. Among those seriously injured were three Christians, including a child Irfan Masih, 13, who’s passed away later; among injured are Imran Masih, 35 and Qudoos Masih, 30.
According to a report police scattered the Christians when they began their peaceful protests and stood by as a Taliban-assembled mob attacked them. Eyewitnesses to the attacks against Christians in Karachi said they were religiously motivated. A representative of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) regional party told that after firing on the crowd, the Taliban went through Christian houses, ransacked them and burned one down. He said they also burned Bibles and beat women on the street. Reports of two execution-style killings of Christians could not be verified.
Local Christians are worried that the Taliban are making inroads into Karachi, the financial center of Pakistan, in the same way it did within the Swat Valley in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
UK-based organization Christian Social Link is appealing to the British Government, the U.S. and the EU to press the Government in Pakistan to take necessary measures to stop the Taliban and the spread of Sharia law in Pakistan. The Karachi attacks on Christians were part of escalating violence throughout the country against minorities by Taliban. In the recent past same Taliban Movement was believed to behind the kidnapping of 25 innocent Christian worshippers from a local House Group Meeting in NWFP’s capital Peshawar. About 500 Pakistani Christians in Charsadda, a town in the North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, received letters telling them to close their Churches and convert or be the target of bomb explosions.
To condemn the recent attack on the Christians in Karachi and Pakistan Government’s decision to allow Taliban to start their own judicial system in the NWFP, Christian Social Link has called an emergency meeting in London, in which we will discuss organizing a peaceful protest in front of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s official residence 10. Downing Street and/or Pakistan High Commission with consensus of the people coming to attend this important meeting in London from different walks of life.