By George Whitten, Worthy News International Correspondent
PUNJAB, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- Five young men severely assaulted a pastor in Punjab, Pakistan for preaching, a Christian human rights group said.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC), Emmanuel Beshir, pastor of Holy City Pentecostal Church, was returning from preaching in Bahmani Wala village at 9 PM when five young men stopped him.
They asked, "Why do you preach that Jesus Christ is Lord and nobody can get salvation without Jesus Christ?" The pastor replied, "We will never stop preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will tell about him to all the nations."
Then the men assaulted him with wooden rods, breaking his right hand and multiple ribs. Pastor Beshir is receiving medical treatment at Farooq Hospital in Lahore city, according to ICC.
"These are the end times. Jesus said 'Go to all the nations and preach the gospel.' We have to fulfill this great commission and [while] fulfilling the great commission, there must be difficulties, persecution and problems," Pastor Beshir told ICC. He further added "And Jesus said that 'When the persecution comes you have to be glad and happy that you are persecuted because of the word of God.'"
Christians have been targeted before in Bahamani Wala village. On June 30, 2009, more than 600 Muslims attacked Christians in the village after falsely accusing them of blaspheming against Muhammad. The attackers destroyed the Christian homes and looted their property.
"We are deeply concerned by the attack against Pastor Beshir. The right to freedom of religion, including the right to share one's faith, is an internationally recognized principle of human rights," said Jonathan Racho, ICC's Regional Manager for South Asia.
"Unfortunately Christian minorities face attacks and even death when sharing their faith in Islamic countries. We urge Pakistan to protect Christian minorities from such attacks."