Pakistan Update: Rev. El Shafie Returns with Evidence of Horrors
Dear Friends and Partners,
Rev. El Shafie returned last month from another fact-finding mission to Pakistan where he visited two Christian towns that were attacked by Islamic extremists about two months ago. He spoke with victims and collected eyewitness testimony of the attacks which he is using on the political and community levels to raise awareness of what is happening to minorities in Pakistan. He used the visit to also set in motion a relief operation to provide assistance to those who lost everything in the attacks.
As we explained in an earlier alert, Christians were forced to flee their homes in Korian and Gojra, two towns near Faisalabad, when Islamic extremists from neighbouring towns went on a rampage, burning and looting Christian homes. A total of about 110 houses and a church were burnt while Muslim mobs blocked roads to prevent the arrival of fire response crews. At least 14 Christians died and many more were left with severe burn wounds. One of the sites Rev. El Shafie visited was the remains of a home where seven members of one Christian family were burned alive by the mob, which barricaded them in their home blocking their escape.
Eyewitnesses told Rev. El Shafie that after the initial attack in Korian on July 30, four mosques in the area openly declared jihad against the Christians, inciting Muslims to continue their attacks. Despite being present and witnessing the threats, authorities did nothing to provide additional security and police fled the scene when the attacks began on August 1. An estimated 10,000 armed Muslim men attacked Gojra, a village of 3,000 Christians and other minorities, yet police arrested only about a couple of dozen Muslims of whom most were quickly released. In addition, the authorities also arrested two Christian brothers, Naveed Shahoo, 30, and Noaman Shahoo, 23, to satisfy Muslim extremists. The brothers are being blamed for the violence in order to deflect attention from the fact that the attacks were triggered by false allegations of blasphemy at a Christian wedding. They continue to be held in a prison in Faisalabad where they have reportedly been beaten and abused by authorities.
Following the attacks, Muslim groups demanded that any police complaints against Muslims be dropped and threatened further attacks against the Christian community. These incidents follow on the heels of increasing violence against Christians and other minorities in Pakistan which has heightened tension and caused great concern among minorities for their safety.
OFWI operations such as this latest mission to Pakistan are very dangerous and costly. We are grateful for your continued prayers for Rev. El Shafie’s safety and, if you are able, for your financial support (donation information is provided below). Please remember that without your participation through your prayers and financial support it would be impossible for us to do this critically important work. By supporting One Free World International you enable us to bring hope to our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering indescribable persecution solely because of their faith.
As a result, please continue to pray:
• for the Christians of Korian and Gojra, for swift healing for those who have suffered severe burns or lost loved ones, for comfort and peace in the midst of chaos and great pain, and for protection from further attacks;
• for Naveed and Noaman Shahoo, that they would be filled with courage and faith to endure their ordeal and that they would be protected from harm and released from prison quickly;
• that the Christians of Pakistan would respond to these attacks in a way that demonstrates the love, forgiveness, and authority of Christ;
• that the Islamic extremists would be exposed and prevented from causing more harm and that they would recognize the futility and evil of their actions and experience true peace through the Prince of Peace; and,
• that the people of Pakistan would be able to live together in peace and harmony regardless of their religious differences.
The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and write (contact details are included below):
• to the High Commissioner or Ambassador of Pakistan to your country demanding the immediate release of Naveed and Noaman Shahoo without charge as well as the immediate repeal of the country’s Blasphemy Laws which encourage incidents like Korian and Gojra; urge the government of Pakistan to uphold its international commitments and the human rights of its citizens, to the benefit of all of Pakistan, by stopping Islamist attacks against Christians and other religious minorities; and,
• to the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Secretary of State in your country, insisting that they take all possible measures to ensure the immediate release of Naveed and Noaman Shahoo; advise them that they must hold the Pakistani government to account over its handling of Christian and minority rights and they must insist that Pakistan take appropriate and effective measures to repeal the Blasphemy Laws and stop Islamist attacks.
Please remember to send us a copy of your correspondence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling. They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.
"They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream" in the Lord’s name.
Be with God and may God be with you.
Rev. Majed El Shafie
President and Founder
One Free World International
El Shafie Ministries
His Excellency Mian Gul Akbar Zeb
High Commissioner of Pakistan to Canada
10 Range Road
Ottawa, ON K1N 8J3
Tel. (613) 238-7881; Fax: (613) 238-7296
The Honourable Lawrence Cannon
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
Tel.: (613) 992-5516; Fax: (613) 992-6802
In the United States:
His Excellency Husain Haqqani
Embassy of Pakistan
3517 International Court NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel.: (202) 243-6500; Fax: (202) 686-1534
Secretary Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel.: (202) 647-4000 (Main switchboard)