by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - There is fresh concern for the welfare of Christians in Pakistan after two believers were poisoned to death by respective Muslim acquaintances earlier this year, International Christian Concern reports. Rights advocates report that the level of persecution against Christians in Pakistan is “extreme.”
A resident of village 190/9AL in the Sahiwal District, Samuel Masih was murdered by Muslim coworkers on March 6. The killing followed an argument between Masih and the murderers on the subject of Christian fasting, ICC reports. According to the crime report FIR no. 451/21 registered at the Ghala Mandi Police Station, Masih died of poisoning. Police have begun investigating the death as a murder.
On May 23, Muslims Muhammad Tariq and Muhammad Majid killed Christian believer Arif Masih from village 370/GB near Gojra City. Local sources told ICC it is believed Masih was killed because he had refused to drop a previous harassment charge against the two men who murdered him. According to the crime report FIR no. 521/21, the murderers abducted Masih from the street, tortured him, and forced him to ingest poison. Masih later died in hospital.
Ranking Pakistan at no. 5 on its Watch List of countries where Christians are persecuted, US Open Doors states on its website: “Christians in Pakistan face extreme persecution in every area of their lives. Believers who have converted from Islam face the greatest levels of persecution, but all Christians are considered second-class citizens in this strongly Islamic country.”