National Assembly of Pakistan condemns mob violence

By July 4, 2024

Pakistan (MNN) — Pakistani lawmakers pass a resolution condemning mob lynchings after a man is burned alive for alleged blasphemy. He was detained at a local police station, then dragged out by a mob and set on fire.

Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws frequently lead to violence against Christians.

“The rumor of blasphemy is enough to gin up one of these mobs to attack Christians in Pakistan. It doesn’t require evidence; it certainly doesn’t require proof,” Nettleton says.

“Someone tosses out an accusation, and the mob swings into action. Christian homes are burned. People are beaten.”

That’s precisely what happened at the end of May when radical Muslims accused an elderly Christian man of burning pages of the Quran. A vigilante mob beat the man unconscious, and he succumbed to his injuries a few days later.

Vigilantes burn a Christian home and small business. (Photo courtesy of FMI)

Plus, in August 2023, “there was an attack where 50 churches were destroyed in addition to Christian homes and businesses,” Nettleton adds.

Legal and political responses to blasphemy law fallout, like the National Assembly of Pakistan’s resolution, are typically quite rare. In 2011, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was assassinated by his bodyguard for speaking out against the blasphemy laws.

“It’s very difficult to find people who will publicly stand up and say, ‘Hey, we need to do something different here,’” Nettleton notes.

“We have had people speak out against the blasphemy law at the airport as they were fleeing the country because they know they’re painting a target on their back.”

Nonetheless, hope remains. A conference in Lahore last week connected blasphemy laws to recent mob violence and called upon the Pakistani government to form a Commission of Inquiry to investigate factors driving vigilante justice.

More importantly, the Gospel is making inroads. “One of the miracles of the Gospel is the fact that people respond,” Nettleton says.

“Even radical Muslims are drawn to that message of a loving Savior who sacrificed Himself on their behalf, instead of demanding that they sacrifice on His behalf.”

Pray for Saul-to-Paul conversions among radical Muslims in Pakistan. Find tangible ways to help persecuted Christians through VOM USA.




Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Aleem Yousaf via Wikimedia Commons.

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