by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A group of Muslims shot dead two Christians in Pakistan last week, following a dispute over land, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Yaqoob Masih and his brother, Haroon Masih, were gunned down on October 8 in Village #2A of the Okara District, ICC said. Witnesses told ICC that local Muslim extremists were enraged that the Christian community to which the Masihs belonged had been successful in their application to lease six acres of land for cultivation. On the day of the attack, nine members of an armed gang shouted anti-Christian slogans and began shooting at five believers as they worked in a field.
“A Muslim family had religious hatred against us and other Christians living in the village,” Indriyas Masih, an eyewitness and survivor of the attack, told ICC. “They never like the development of Christians in the village and therefore opposed us in getting a contract for a piece of land for cultivation.”
“On the incident day, five of us went to the agricultural fields for irrigation work when a mob of over two dozen armed men attacked. The attack resulted in the killing of Yaqoob and Haroon,” Indriyas said.
An official complaint has been filed with the police.
In a statement ICC Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark, said, “Pakistan must do more to combat the extremism and intolerance that motivates anti-Christian incidents like this. No one should be treated as a second-class citizen simply because of the faith they profess. In Pakistan, however, the faith you profess drastically affects how you are treated by society.”
Pakistan is an Islamic country: disputes between Muslims and Christians frequently result in violence due to intolerance of religious minorities; Pakistan ranks 5 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.