Pakistan (MNN) — On July 29, an American citizen and Ahmadiyya Muslim named Tahir Ahmad Naseem was shot and killed in a Pakistani courtroom. His murderer, Khalid Khan, has been treated like a hero for his actions by many in Pakistan.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemned the murder in a statement that can be read here.
Bruce Allen of FMI says many Pakistanis in the city of Peshawar, where the murder took place, gathered on the streets to celebrate the violence. “And Muslims, not just in Pakistan but around the world, have started changing their existing social media names after Khalid Khan. Sometimes people are even giving him the title of Ghazi. And Ghazi is simply a title of reverence or honor given to a Muslim soldier who has fought against non-Muslims and returns home victorious.”
Though Khan was arrested in the courtroom, he has already been offered free legal services to honor his actions.
Naseem was lured into the country from the United States in 2018, where he was arrested on Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy charge.
So why is the shooting of this unarmed man being treated as some great act of heroism? Allen says, “Tahir comes from the minority Ahmadiyya community which claims to follow Islam. But the Sunni Muslims in Pakistan branded that sect as heretical.”
The Gospel in Pakistan
But at the same time that such reckless hate fills Pakistani streets and social media, Jesus Christ is building His kingdom.
FMI partners went out in Peshawar to testify to Christ and pass out Bibles. Allen says, “There were rallies in the street, hailing Khalid Khan as a hero. Anything that could have been perceived as anti-Islamic was pushed down. Yet these partners said, ‘We’re going to stay up here and look for people who are truly spiritually hungry because the Scriptures say blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.’”
FMI’s partners exceeded their goals, distributing 3,100 Bibles. The partners handed out a phone number connected to a secure phone to those who would want to follow up. Allen says they received over 800 follow-up messages. “Some were negative. ‘How dare you do this, especially during this time, you’re not Muslim, whatever.’ But more than 500 of those leads show significant interest in learning more about Jesus Christ and the Gospel.”
In fact, they are going through inventory so fast that they are running out. You can help provide more scripture to Pakistan. One Bible costs just $7 and typically impacts about 9 people.
Pray that FMI Partners will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as they continue to distribute Bibles and proclaim the risen Christ.
Pakistan doesn’t look good right now, celebrating acts of hate and cowardice. But Jesus has not abandoned the country. Pray that He would continue to build His kingdom there.
The header image shows Pakistanis holding up a picture of the murderer. (Photo courtesy of FMI)