(PRWEB) March 30, 2005
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The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC - http://www.persecution.org) has just learned of an Easter attack on a church in Wapda (Town Phase II), Lahore, Pakistan. Muslim gunmen opened fire on Easter worshippers as they left Victory Church International (VCI) at 10:30 am local time. As a result of the attack, 5 worshippers were wounded, one fatally.
ICC has this preliminary list of those shot in the attack:
- Niamat Masih Shot in hand
- Ismaeel Masih Shot in both legs
- Naeem Masih Shot in hip, thigh, lower leg, left arm
- Pervez Masih Shot in both legs, abdomen
- Irshad Masih Murdered Husband and Father of a one year old girl.
ICC found that the Christian community targeted in the attack, had rebuffed pressure from Muslim neighbors to give up land to the Muslim community (the land had risen significantly in value). That pressure, and a history of attacks on the Pakistani Christian community, led the worshippers at VCI to ask for police protection for their Easter service. The churchÂs request was granted and police were stationed at the entrance of the church to prevent such an attack. Curiously, the police guarding the church, left just prior to the deadly attack.
Unfortunately, Christians around the world in persecuted areas find themselves the target of attacks especially on the holidays of Christmas and Easter. This latest incident, in a long string of attacks on the Christian community, further illustrates how the Christian community in Pakistan exists as a cowed and second-class citizenry due the nature of fundamentalist Islamic societies and their practice of persecuting religious minorities.
ICC urges concerned Christians to sign our online petition at http://www.persecution.org/newsite/sign_petitions.php and to contact the embassy of Pakistan and politely urge the government of Pakistan to pursue this case and bring justice to the Christian community at Victory Church International in Wapda, (Town Phase II) Lahore.
ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441. To be removed from this press release list, hit reply and put Âremove from PR listÂ in the subject line.
Embassy of Pakistan
3517 International Court,
NW Washington DC 20008
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