by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Two Christian sanitation workers in Sargodha, Pakistan died on October 3 after being ordered to enter a sewer without personal protective clothing to rescue another Christian worker, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. A Muslim emergency service team refused to assist in the incident because they believed touching a Christian makes them unclean.
Faisal Masih and Nadeem Masih were swept to their deaths by a strong current after rescuing Michael Masih, who had been overcome by inhaling toxic fumes, ICC reports. Michael was taken to hospital for treatment, and he was expected to have long-term health issues due to the incident. A fourth Christian was sent into the sewer to recover the bodies of Faisal and Nadeem.
Christians represent just 2% of Pakistan’s population but, because of employment discrimination, they constitute 80%-90% of the sanitation workforce, ICC reports. The work is considered the lowest and dirtiest of all employment and is reserved for non-Muslims.
“Discrimination against Christian sanitation workers is widespread in Pakistan. They are often forced to work in dangerous conditions with little to no safety equipment provided by the companies overseeing their labor,” ICC said in its report.
Pakistan ranks five on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.