Muslim cleric arrested in death of a Christian student in Pakistan.

By January 20, 2006

Pakistan (MNN)–Nearly two years after the murder of a 19-year old Christian student in Pakistan’s Punjab region, police have arrested a Muslim cleric.

According to a report from Compass Direct, Umar Hayat is suspected of forcing Javed Anjum to re-convert to Islam. Hayat, and two other Islamic seminary members were charged with kidnapping, as well as torturing Anjum to death. Another suspect was re-arrested after Pakistan’s Supreme Court revoked his bail.

Records show that while waiting for court proceedings, police protection was ordered for for Anjum’s father, Pervez Masih, and his lawyer. Masih filed a formal complaint that armed members of Rasool and Hayat’s madrassa (Islamic school) were harassing him at court hearings in an attempt to force them to drop the case.

With the court order in place, the madrassa members no longer physically or verbally threaten Masih and Sindhu. However, as a precaution, the prosecution has local Christian religious and political leaders accompany them to trial.

Another development came on Sunday, January 15. Masih appealed a court decision to reject his son’s deathbed testimony as part of the official evidence. A date for the appeal hearing before the provincial High Court in Lahore has yet to be set.

Pray for believers in Pakistan, where it is growing more dangerous to stay true to the faith.

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