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A Muslim mob brutally attacked a Christian man, who suffers from schizophrenia, and his family on December 28 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Shumail Aleem (32) was accused of blasphemy when he commented to another Christian at a nearby general store that movie channels weren't being shown on the shop's television because Muslims were observing Yom-e-Ashura. On Yom-e-Ashura, Shiite Muslims mourn the death of Muhammad's grandson while Sunni Muslims believe Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for freeing the Israelites from Egypt. Even though Shumail's comment apparently supported the shopkeeper's reasoning to not show a film that day, the shopkeeper, Naveed, began to beat Shumail and demanded fto know why he had profaned Muhammad's grandson's name.

Later that day, when the family returned home, they found some of their possessions thrown around the house. They were told by a neighbour that approximately two dozen men and some police had come searching for Shumail because Naveed had accused him of blasphemy. When Shumail's father, Mansoor, later tried to bring his son to the police station to clear up the allegations, they were attacked by more than a dozen Muslims. More than a hundred enraged Muslims eventually gathered at the scene. Shumail's sister, Elishba (20), tried to defend them and was struck on the head with an iron rod. After she fell unconscious, the assailants continued to beat her and broke one of her legs. The Muslims also injured Mansoor's wife, sister-in-law, and another of his sons, Shazir. Shazir's wife was also beaten and her infant daughter was snatched out of her arms and thrown on the ground. The infant was not seriously injured. Elishba received medical treatment and eventually regained consciousness, but was struggling with intense pain at last report. Members of the mob reportedly paid off medical staff to withhold Elishba's medical information and bribed officers to pressure the family to drop the case in exchange for an out-of-court settlement. (Source: Compass Direct)

Pray for healing for those injured in this attack. Pray that authorities will act justly and with integrity in this case. Ask God to protect this family and other Christians in their community.

To find out more about the persecution Christians face in Pakistan, please visit the Pakistan Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC partners to train Christian women in sewing skills throughout Pakistan to provide a sustainable source of income for their families and encourage them in their faith and witness for Christ.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Punjabi (44.7), Pashtun [Pathan] (15.4), Sindhi (14.1), Saraiki (8.4) Muhajirs (7.6) Balochi (3.6), Other (6.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (96.5), Other - Christian and Hindu (3.5)

Leader
President Arif Alvi (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Common law system with Islamic law influence

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Pakistan

Pray that amendments will be made to Pakistan's existing blasphemy laws so that the country's citizens – including its children – will be protected from injustice and abuse. May our Lord's mercy and justice prevail, not only in the judiciary system but also in the hearts of the country's militants. Ask Him to transform their "hearts of stone" into hearts that are receptive to His love, mercy and the workings of His Holy Spirit – not only for the purpose of protecting the Christian minority but also for the salvation of their own eternal souls.

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