Christians Detained and Charged
for Evangelising in Pakistan

26th JANUARY 2001

Two Christians who were detained because they distributed
Christian literature will appear in court in Jacobabad on Tuesday
30th January, along with others charged with them, according to
the Justice and Peace Commission of Pakistan.

Khalid Masih and Nasir Masih were arrested on 11th January after
distributing Christian literature and the 'Jesus' film amongst the
Christian community in the Railway Christian Colony in
Jacobabad. Local Muslims showed interest in receiving the
literature that the local Campus Crusade team was distributing.
However the Muslims subsequently took the literature to local
Mulvies (religious leaders) Moulana Abdul Ghani Ansari and
Moulana Hafiz Mir Mohammad Bunglani, who escalated the issue
into a campaign against the entire Christian community of
Jacobabad.

The two young men were arrested and taken to the District Jail in
Jacobabad, where they were reported to have been badly beaten by
the police. Their cases were registered under Section 108 of the
Pakistan Penal Code. They were held for eight days until a
successful bail application was made on 19th January. It is
reported that the Christians had to stand bail for Rs 60,000 (around
$1,000) to free the two men and avoid the arrest of the other six
members of the group.

The Mulvies led a demonstration to the Deputy Commissioner of
Jacobabad and the Press Club. They are pressurising the district
and divisional administrations to lodge an FIR (First Informatio
Report) against other Christians, including Pastor Yousaf Masih of 
Christ Church Jacobabad and Principal Newton of Victor Public
Secondary School. A local source reported that the Mulvies have
said that if the police do not arrest the two men, they themselves
will shoot them dead. At midnight on January 14th shots were fired
at the Christian school. The following day, the locks at Christ
Church were broken and some of the pastor's personal property
was stolen.

The Mulvies published a poster urging Muslims to take their
children out of the school because they were being taught from
anti-Islamic books and were being given anti-Islamic tapes. The
school denies these charges. The Mulvies have called on the
Deputy Commissioner to cancel the registration of the school.
Meanwhile local Christians have been unable to see the Deputy
Commissioner and are left without protection from the local
administration.

CSW is urging that letters of concern be sent to His Excellency
Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive of Pakistan, Chief Executive's
Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan (fax: 92-51-927 0205, e-mail:
ce@pak.gov.pk) and that copies of the letters should be sent to
Gen. (R) Moin Uddin Haider, The Interior Minister, Islamabad,
Pakistan (fax: 92-51-9202642), Mian Mohammad Somro,
Governor of Sindh, Governor House, Karachi, Pakistan (fax: 92
21-9201218) and Pakistani embassies.

For further information, please contact Simon Groves on + 44 20
8942 8810 or at SimonGroves@csw.org.uk.

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