Christian Family Under Islamic Gunfire

Monday, August 4, 2008

By Jawad Mazhar, Special Correspondent BosNewsLife reporting from Pakistan

SARGODHA, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife) -- Tensions remained high Saturday, August 2, in a village on the outskirts of the Pakistani city of Sargodha, where gun wielding Muslim militant ransacked a Christian family's home, family members and police told BosNewsLife.

Khalid Mehmood, a resident of the village of 79 Northern Branch, who has made clear he considers Christians "infidels" and "spies of the United States" was seen firing bullets at shanty house of an already impoverished Christian man Gullfaam Masih July 2.

He "shamelessly brandished his gun in the air and in insobriety kept shooting and ransacked the house of Masih," witnesses said. The militant ripped of Masih's wife clothing warned Masih’s children "of dire consequences if they refused to embrace Islam," according to family members and a police report seen by BosNewsLife.

A police report, submitted by the frail Masih to local police, saus the sttack took place late July 2 at 5:15 PM local time while Gullfaam Masih was at his work place and his wife and children were home.


Masih’s spouse said her husband was not at home when "this terrorizing showdown" occurred. "I was totally confused and didn’t know why this crazy Muslim man was shooting straight bullets," at the house. Bullets apparently hit walls, bed sheets, cupboards, doors, and windows. She said that she saved herself and the children’s lives "by hiding behind a steel box."

The militant returned several hours later, this time shooting bullets in the air while shouting "abusive language." He left after two hours, warning them of "shattering consequences" if they would not "recant Christianity" and embrace Islam, the family said.

The latest incident came amid reports of escalating attacks against Christians following the first anniversary of a government backed military operation against Islamic militants hiding in the Red Mosque which killed at least 11 people.

Ferhan Mazher chairman of an independent rights and advocacy group ‘Rays Of Development Organization, (ROD)’ described the the recent attack on the house of Gullfaam Masih as "a sign of more imminent havoc within the Christian community of Pakistan."

ROD plans to conduct street theaters to create "interfaith peace and harmony in the most restive, conservative and rural areas," he said.

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