Pakistan: Down Syndrome Girl Accused Of Blasphemy, Muslim Mobs Burn Christian Homes, Attack Churches, Thousands Of Christians Flee
By Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife – “Muslims torched Christian homes and ‘destroyed’ a church in a slum area of Islamabad while suspected militants shot at another church outside Pakistan’s capital, after the jailing of a mentally handicapped Christian girl for ‘blasphemy’, witnesses said Tuesday, August 21.
‘Our staff and a few [other] Christians went into [Islamabad's] colony of Meherabadi [late Monday local time ],’ added Farrukh H. Saif, executive director of Pakistani rights group World Vision In Progress (WVIP).
‘We found that five houses were burned and one church was destroyed,’ he told BosNewsLife. ‘Bibles [have been torn] to pieces and a [church] cross is broken’, the official said.
Elsewhere in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi the Catholic St Matthew’s Church was ‘attacked by unknown extremist at 2 a.m. local time,’ added Saif, citing investigators.
‘They opened fire at the Church building which damaged the front of the building,’ in Karachi’s Pehlwan Goth neighborhood, he explained…
Police jailed the girl Friday, August 17, after at least hundreds of Muslim protesters demanded that she face charges under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
A local cleric had said she burned pages of the Noorani Qaida, a religious textbook used to teach the Koran to children, said Saif…
Muslim mobs have been pressuring the girl’s Christian neighbors and others to flee Saif and other rights activist said…
Thousands of Christians were still outside the slum area where the alleged burning incident happened, fearing for their lives, human rights workers said.
There were concerns late Tuesday, August 21, that at least several will have no place to return to, amid reports of burning homes.” Read more.
Pakistan: 11-Year-Old Christian Girl Accused of Blasphemy – “An 11-eleven-year old Christian girl was accused of blasphemy and arrested for allegedly burning pages of a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to learn the basics of the Holy Quran. Officials of the Ramna Police Station told The Express Tribune that the girl, named Rifta Masih, had burned a Noorani Qaida on August 16 and threw it in garbage after putting it in a plastic bag… Soon after the incident, residents of the area had gathered to lodge their protest. The protesters also allegedly beat up the girl and her mother … The news emerged when a website called ‘Christians in Pakistan’ reported the incident. The report alleges that Rifta has Down syndrome and was falsely accused of burning 10 pages of the Holy Quran.” Read more.