Date: March 22, 2013
Situations are growing even more intense in Pakistan. Christians in Jehlem, a big city in Punjab, have received several threats from Muslims that their houses will be burned like the houses in Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh Lahore.
March 12, 2013, around 160 Christian homes and a church were set ablaze in Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh Lahore, after false blasphemy accusations were raised. False accusations of blasphemy escalate very quickly, as in this case. After the accusation has been made local Muslim Clerics hear of the 'offense' and subsequently rally many Islam extremists to join the 'call for justice'. The aftermath is catastrophic to the Christian community. Many are killed; many more have lost everything and are left to flee for their lives. This leaves empty land and business for Muslims to claim.
Our friends at CLAAS have urged the Governor of Punjab to provide the proper security to Christians in Jehlem. From land passed down generation-to-generation there are around 26 Christian families living among the Muslim majority at Ahata Machine no. 26 in Jehlem City. There are 9 big centers of Islamic preachers in this area, one of which is near the Christian community houses. Recently, there was a message from that mosque and Islamic center stating the Christians had committed blasphemy by trying to repeal the blasphemy laws at a recent rally.
March 12, 2013, a Christian rally took place to repeal the blasphemy law as a black law because it is misused. The rally was conducted by George Masih (a local Christian) in solidarity with Christians from Badami Bagh Lahore and permission from the district police, which provided security for the rally. Around 250 Christians were in attendance chanting slogans for justice.
Muslim extremists are now demanding police arrest George Masih under blasphemy charges. They have given the police a deadline of a few days before they take action into their own hands.
Please pray for the safe keeping of Pakistani Christians. We do not want this to turn into another case like the Christians in Badami Bagh. Please pray that the police will provide security as they have stated.
In His grace and peace,