Bail granted to Pakistani attackers

By September 21, 2009

Pakistan (MNN/ICC) — Christians are concerned about a court ruling in Pakistan that has allowed 13 Pakistanis to be freed on bail. International Christian Concern says a Pakistani court granted bail to 13 Muslims, including radical clerics, who incited mob attacks against Christians. The attacks resulted in 11 Christians being killed and more than 40 Christians fleeing from their burned out homes in Gojra.

The attacks began on August 1 when a Muslim mob of about 3,000 people went on a rampage assaulting Christians after radical Muslim clerics erroneously accused Christians of blasphemy. The Christians were cleared of any wrong-doing.

ICC regional director of Africa and the Middle East Jonathan Racho says, "This just shows how Muslims are attacking Christians with impunity. We are really discouraged because this is a decision which is given by the Lahore High Court, which is supposed to be standing for justice and human rights."

Racho says there are a number of reasons for the attacks against Christians. "Many Muslims are turning to Christ, and thousands are coming to Christianity because Islamic extremism is offering them craziness in that country. Many are coming to Christianity for answers; they're coming to Christianity for peace."

Another reason is "is a growing Islamic extremist movement in Pakistan."

Racho says, "We condemn in the strongest terms the decision by the Lohore High Court to release the individual responsible for the carnage in Gajra. Pakistan has repeatedly failed to bring perpetrators of violence against Christians to justice, and this latest decision helps to perpetuate a culture of impunity in Pakistan."

Racho asks Christians to pray for believers in Pakistan. He also asks Christians to call the Pakistani Embassy at (202) 243-6500 and tell them of your concern. Racho encourages you to ask the government "to re-arrest the 13 people that they freed. Also [ask them] to go after all the people who were responsible for violence against Christians. We are afraid that if this conduct continues, more and more believers will suffer in this country."

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