After a hard day's work in the fields on February 25th, Saleem Masih went to the well to rinse off. The Muslim landowner, however, was furious and accused him of polluting the water. Sher Dogar insulted Saleem, referring to him as a filthy Christian, and vowed to teach him a lesson.
Dogar, along with others, dragged Saleem to the farm where they chained him up and began to torture him. The abuse continued for hours until he eventually fell unconscious from the pain. The next morning, police arrived at Saleem's home and told family members to come to Dogar's farm where they found Saleem still in chains. After pleading with the landowner, the family was finally able to free Saleem and take him to the hospital for treatment.
After receiving initial treatment from doctors at the local hospital, he was taken to Lahore due to the severity of his internal damages. Sadly, Saleem remained in a coma until he succumbed to his injuries on February 28th at the hospital.
Despite clear evidence, Saleem's family is not hopeful that those responsible will be brought to justice, even though a police report has been filed. The perpetrators are quite influential in the area and, even while Saleem was still chained up, police were pressuring the family to settle the matter out of court. A memorial service was held in the village of Baguyana on March 2nd, attended by Christians throughout the area. For more details on the persecution facing Pakistan's Christians, visit our country report.
Please remember the family and friends of Saleem in your prayers. May they find comfort and peace, despite the terrible circumstances. Pray that justice will be served and that those responsible for this horrific attack will be convicted. Whether judicial conviction is obtained or not, may the perpetrators respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and receive the forgiveness and salvation that only Jesus Christ, the Risen Saviour, can provide.