Dozens of Pakistani Christians Injured in Muslim Violence

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

By Worthy News Asia Service

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- At least dozens of Pakistani Christians were recovering of injuries Wednesday, January 6, following attacks by Muslim extremists in and outside the capital Islamabad, Christians and rights investigators said.

The bloodiest known attack happened December 24 in Kalar Kahatr Town, about 125 kilometer(78 miles) from Islamabad, where a Muslim mob attacked a midnight Christmas service organized at a church construction site, said the Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) advocacy group.

Some 65 Christians were injured in the beatings, including women and children, said the PCC, which claims to represent 15 million Pakistani Christians.

The PCC quoted Pastor Naveed John as saying that Muslim extremists, who earlier threatened workers, objected to the planned construction of the church despite building approvals from local authorities.


The PCC criticized Christian law makers of Pakistan's Punjab province, where the attack occurred, for allegedly making a compromise with police that would prevent the detention of Muslim extremists involved in the violence.

It said a similar deal was made in Kasur District, east of Lahore, where a Muslim mob burned some hundred Christian homes and churches in July, injuring over a dozen Christians.

In Islamabad meanwhile a Christian family was coping Tuesday, January 5, with the aftermath of a separate attack on December 28, Christians said. Over a dozen Muslims were seen beating the 20-year-old sister of a mentally ill man because he allegedly made "blasphemous remarks" about Islam.

The woman’s father, Aleem Mansoor, reportedly said his daughter Elishba Aleem was briefly unconscious after being hit in the head with an iron rod. The mob also broke her leg, he said.

The father and other family members were reportedly also beaten with rods and cricket bats in front of their apartment home by Muslims who apparently falsely accused his 32-year old son, Shumail Aleem, of blasphemy.


Aleem, who suffers from schizophrenia, was allegedly attacked by a shop keeper for "profaning Hussein ibn Ali," grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad."

Family members said they would be unable to press charges against Muslim attackers because they allegedly bribed key medical staff not to hand-over key medical records from the hospital where Elishba Aleem was treated.

There was no immediate comment from authorities.

It comes at a time of growing pressure on Christians in Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim nation, according to rights groups. (With Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos).