The Evangelical Alliance (EA) has put pressure on parliament to condemn the ‘barbaric’ deaths of a Christian man and his pregnant wife, who were burned in a bread oven in Pakistan.
Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy for the EA, said the latest incident was a ‘clear misuse’ of the country’s blasphemy law in order to persecute Christians.
He said, ‘This barbaric act represents the latest in a long line of brutal acts of religious intolerance against Christians, in a country which is set to receive more than £400 million in aid from Christian taxpayers in the UK.
‘The Evangelical Alliance, which represents two million evangelical Christians in the UK, calls on the UK government to unequivocally condemn this execution of an innocent Christian couple and use its influence to persuade Pakistan to bring the full weight of the law against the perpetrators’.
Mr Landrum added that the government needed to acknowledge that such barbarous attacks were no different from the barbarous attacks of IS in the name of Islam.
He added that consideration should also be given to Pakistan’s continued membership of the Commonwealth, because it has failed to reform or repeal its biased blasphemy law. This unjust law has been used as a tool for discrimination against minorities, for the settling of personal vendettas or for stealing possessions.
On 4 November 2014, 26-year-old Shahzad Masih and his 24-year-old wife Shama Bibi who was four months pregnant were beaten, tortured and burned alive in the fiery furnace of a brick kiln, while the local police stood by and watched.
Later in November, the EA, together with the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) and supporters, gathered outside 10 Downing Street to show how serious Christians were about the issue.
Manoj Raithatha, head of the South Asian Forum of the Evangelical Alliance, called on all Christians in the UK to sign the BPCA’s petition for the UK government to exert diplomatic pressure on Pakistan.
He said, ‘We need 100,000 signatures on this petition, which calls on the UK and other western governments to condemn and do something tangible to ensure that there can be no business as usual in Pakistan, in relation to the murder of Christians, under the pretence of its biased blasphemy law’.
The petition can be accessed at: eauk.org/PakistanPetition