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Serious injury in mob attack on Pakistani Christians

Please pray for Christians in Pakistan’s Sargodha city following a mob attack on believers at the weekend.


Nazeer Masih Gill, aged 74, was injured in the incident on Saturday, which followed a false accusation of blasphemy by a local cleric, Christian Daily International-Morning Star News (CDI-MSN) reported.


He was rushed to hospital and needed surgery to a head wound. Thankfully Nazeer was said to be in a stable condition.


As well as beating Nazeer, the mob vandalized his house and burned his shoe factory in the Mujahid colony after a message over a mosque loudspeaker incited people to gather where he had burned wastepaper, a relative said.


Inspector Shahid Iqbal of the Sargodha Urban Police Station told CDI-MSN: ‘His family is safe and is being kept at a government guesthouse due to security concerns. They may return to their home when the situation normalizes.’


Nazeer had burned wastepaper in the street outside his home and gone inside when someone threw a copy of the Koran into the fire, his nephew Irfan Gill said. A Muslim neighbour accused him of desecrating the Koran and stirred up local Muslims to attack him, he said.


A tense calm prevailed in Sargodha on Sunday following the day of violence, with police arresting 26 Muslims in a case registered against 44 named suspects and 300 to 400 unidentified rioters, sources said.


‘The mob destroyed electricity meters and outdoor AC [air-conditioning] units outside Gill’s home and set them ablaze,’ Iqbal said. ‘We rescued Gill from the burning building, but as soon as we brought him out, the mob started throwing stones at us and snatched him from our custody. They then proceeded to beat him with stones and sticks and also attacked us when we tried to intervene. At least 10 policemen were injured while trying to save the man and transport him to the hospital.


‘Several Muslim residents and clerics also played a positive role in the situation due to which we were able to rescue Gill’s family, otherwise they too could have fallen victim to the violent mob,’ he said.


More than 1,000 police personnel were deployed at churches and Christian-populated areas in Sargodha on Sunday as officials began enforcing a seven-day ban on protests and sit-ins.


Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, a Christian politician from Sargodha, said that several Christian families who had fled their homes on Saturday had started returning, reassured by the heavy police deployment.


He said: ‘This is the ninth incident related to blasphemy in Sargodha since 2023, and I urge the Government to make sure that whoever is trying to disrupt peace and cause communal discord is identified and punished according to the law.’

 

(Source: Christian Daily International-Morning Star News)

 


PRAYER


Pray for ongoing calm in Sargodha and that Christians would be protected there and across Pakistan

Thank God for the actions of the police and concerned residents in rescuing Nazeer and his family and pray that the authorities would take the right action to prevent further violence against Christians

Pray for Nazeer’s complete healing.

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