Release International’s petition calling on the Pakistan government to protect its Christian minority is gaining momentum.
The campaign from the Christian charity follows an investigation which has detailed brutal persecution at the hands of extremists. According to reports from Release, Christians in Pakistan have been burned alive by militants in a prolonged period of rioting, with Christians unjustly accused of blasphemy and seven professing believers killed.
Josefine Akhlas, from Lahore, said, ‘There was nothing left of my house’. ‘It was totally destroyed. My husband was burnt alive’. Fifty-year-old Walter Masih lost his wife Pervan and daughter Asia, when the mob poured chemicals into the house and set it ablaze. He said, ‘My daughter was caught in the fire and did not come out. She was six months pregnant. We are very scared’.
The rioting broke out after Christians in a neighbouring village were accused of blasphemy. They had cut up an Arabic school textbook to use as confetti at a wedding. Militants claimed that on its pages were printed words from the Koran.
Release investigators said that the armed mob was 800 strong, including militant jihadis who claimed to be linked to the Taliban and Al-Q’aeda.
The petition and a poster can be downloaded from www.releaseinternational.org/pages/take-action/current-campaign.php