Pakistan (MNN) — It was supposed to be just another school day in Pakistan. But instead of going home at the end of the day, one young boy would end up in the hospital from a brutal attack.
A six-year-old Christian student from Khanewal in the Punjab province of Pakistan was recently attacked by his schoolteacher and beaten within an inch of his life. The Muslim teacher accused the child of blasphemy.
FMI has been in contact with other local ministry leaders regarding the attack. Bruce Allen with FMI says, “This boy had a workbook. He was just fiddling with it, he cannot really read it, and he’s making rips or tears in the notebook. But because that notebook or the curriculum had Quranic verses printed in it, it’s considered desecration against the Quran.
“Now, this boy has no intention of committing blasphemy. He probably doesn’t even understand what blasphemy is. And yet, because he’s a Christian, the teacher who is Muslim uses that incident as an excuse to beat him severely enough — not just that he’s hospitalized, but he nearly loses his life.”
The boy was initially fighting for his life in the hospital after the attack. FMI now knows he has been released to his family’s care. But there is no word yet on if he was truly fit to be released from the hospital or his current physical state.
Allen says, “In this town in Punjab province, even now, the Christian families are fleeing for their lives. So when I hear that this boy is recuperating with his family, I don’t know that he’s at home. They could be on the run for their lives. I don’t know that they have the medical resources to take care of his wounds.”
Pakistan’s constitution establishes Islam as the state religion. Blasphemy laws are often used to encourage vindictive targeting of Christians.
In praying for this Christian boy and his family, Allen says, “I’m gonna get really practical. [Pray that] they can sleep well at night. We know our bodies don’t heal whether emotionally or physically very well if we’re not getting good sleep.
“Can you imagine the nightmares that a six-year-old boy could have replaying the scene in his mind? In what he expects is the safety of his classroom, and the one who’s in authority beats him brutally? So pray that the family sleeps well.”
Pray also for the family to access any additional medical resources needed for their son’s care. Pray for their protection and for justice.
Also, Allen asks, “Pray for his future because God can raise up from this boy someone who could have such a strong voice in the Christian community as a strong testimony of what forgiveness looks like [and] even a strong voice to say, ‘I’m a survivor of what society tried to do to me, and we need to change society.'”
Header photo of school desks, courtesy of Hiroyoshi Urushima/Unsplash.