08/28/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In August, two Christian families became the victims of Pakistan’s ever-growing religious intolerance. In both incidents, the families were subjected to extreme violence due to the low social standing Christians are afforded in Pakistan’s Muslim-dominated society.
Anti-Christian discrimination is widespread in Pakistan. Christians are often viewed as the lowest of the low in Pakistani society. This view is exemplified by the extreme over-representation of Christians in Pakistan’s undesirable sanitation professions, including sewer workers and street sweepers. Some reports estimate that nearly 80% of sanitation positions in Pakistan are held by Christians, who make up only 1.5% of the country’s total population.
On August 2, this attitude of intolerance cost Vicky Masih, a Christian from Lahore, his life.
“It was the wedding anniversary of Vicky and his wife,” advocate Tariq Zia told International Christian Concern (ICC). “Vicky was asked by his Muslim friends to meet them at Muhammad Abbas’ house and celebrate with them.”
“Muhammad Ilyas, another one of Vicky’s Muslim friends, had to pay back a handsome loan to Vicky,” Zia continued. “When Vicky asked for his money back, Muhammad Ilyas abused Vicky and said that he will teach a lesson to the choora.” “Choora” is a derogatory term used against Christians that denotes them as dirty and untouchable.
“Within no time, the party turned into an exchanging of harsh words, a physical clash, and ended with Vicky’s murder,” Zia reported.
According to reports, Vicky was shot in the stomach and abandoned while at Muhammad Abbas’ house. He later died at the hospital, leaving behind a wife and three young children.
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