By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- The violence against Christians in Pakistan is continuing unabated, and the latest shocking incident, monitored by the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), involves a young Christian boy who was brutally tortured before being killed in Faisalabad, Pakistan, which is about 100 miles from Lahore.
According to reports, 11-year-old Samuel Yaqoob had been missing since the evening of August 20, when he had stepped out of his home in a Christian colony to go to the market to buy food for his family.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, who has been tracking this shocking case said, "After extensive searching his body was found near a drain in the Christian colony, bearing marks of horrific torture, with the murder weapon nearby.
"His nose, lips and belly had been sliced off, and his family could hardly recognize him because the body was so badly burnt. Some 23 wounds by a sharp weapon have been identified in the autopsy. When sending his body for an autopsy, police raised the possibility of sodomy.
"The police, and the mother, according to some reports named Asia Bibi [not the same Asia Bibi as the iconic blasphemy law death sentence victim], said that there had been no demands for ransom, nor any accusation of blasphemy.
"Parts of Pakistani culture have a strong homosexual pederast culture, and Christian and other minority boys are especially susceptible to rape and abuse because of the powerlessness of their community and their despised status," added Chowdhry. "In one case fairly recently, a Christian boy was kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed by a police officer, his body similarly being dumped in a drain."
Local Assistant Sub-Inspector Shafiq Ahmed said police were investigating "all aspects of the case."
He said Yaqoob's father died a few months ago and the family was "very poor", which he said ruled out the possibility that he was kidnapped for ransom.
"We did not receive a complaint of blasphemy. However we are investigating this aspect as well. The autopsy will tell whether the boy was sodomized," Ahmed said.
The killing comes days after an 11-year-old Christian girl with Down's Syndrome was arrested by police in Islamabad on a charge of blasphemy for allegedly burning pages of the Quran. Rimsha Masih's family and dozens of Christians fled their homes due to threats from Muslims.
In that case, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari directed the Interior Ministry to investigate the incident and to provide protection to the local Christians.