Pakistan’s Taliban threatens Christian leaders

By October 20, 2009

Pakistan (MNN) — The
Taliban is directly threatening believers in northeastern Pakistan's Punjab
province. 

Jonathon Racho with International Christian Concern (ICC) says they've
learned that on October
6, members of the Taliban sent threatening letters in Sargodha, Pakistan, warning
Christian leaders to convert to Islam or face dire consequences.

A copy of the letter obtained by ICC warns Christians to convert to
Islam, pay Jizya tax (an
Islamic tax imposed on religious minorities), or leave the country. Racho says the letter warns, "If the Christians do not do any of the three,
then they will be killed, their property and homes will be burned to ashes, and
their women will be treated as sex slaves. And they themselves would be responsible for
this."

Rev. Zaheer Khan, Pastor of Maghoo Memorial Church; Rev. Aamir Azeem,
pastor of United Christians Church; and Rev. Zafar Akhter, pastor of United
Presbyterian Church each received a copy of the threatening letter.

The Islamists also sent the letters to the following Christian
institutions: St Peter's Middle School, Sargodha Institute of Technology,
Sargodha Catholic High School, St. John's Primary School, and Fatima Hospital.

Besides the Christian institutions, the letter was also sent to the main
Immam-Bar-Gha (Shiite Muslim's
gathering hall). 

Pray for believers to remain bold in Christ. Racho says Christians in Pakistan are soft targets for attacks by Islamic
extremists. In the last four months, Muslims have killed 12 Christians because of
their faith.

Racho goes on to say that it's likely to get worse before it gets better. "In Pakistan, many Christians are
suffering because of the surge in activity by the Taliban, and the Christians
are killed simply because of their faith in Christ. We're afraid that these
attacks on Christians will continue to grow in the coming days."

Please contact the embassy of
Pakistan in your country to bring this situation to their attention and ask
them to protect Christians from violence. "We urge Pakistani officials to take
the threatening letters seriously," says Racho, asking that the government "take measures to protect the Christians and their institutions from attacks."

Pakistani embassies:

USA: (202) 243-6500

Canada: (613) 238-7881

UK: 0870-005-6967

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