Pakistan: Boy Burnt Alive for Being Christian Has Died

Dominican Priest Asks Government, ‘Where is Justice?’

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The 14-year-old Pakistani Christian burnt alive by a group of unknown young Muslims has died.

According to Fides, Nauman Masih passed away Wednesday morning in the hospital in Lahore. 

The young boy had been attacked by young Muslim strangers on their way to a mosque. They poured petrol on him and set him on fire, suffering severe burns on more than half of his body.

Masih did not know the people who attacked him. The police were alerted and registered a complaint against unknown persons.

Some observers believe the gesture may be revenge after two Muslims were lynched in Youhanabad following the March 15 Church attacks, but were declared innocent.

Following the lynching, the police in Lahore raided several homes in Youhanabad and arrested more than 100 young Christians trying to track down who was responsible.

Dominican priest, Fr. James Channan, told Fides, «Christians condemned the lynching, saying openly that it is a big crime.»

«However,» he added, «in many cases in the past innocent Christians were burnt alive: the mass attacks in the Christian neighborhood in Gojra, Shantinagar, or the Christian couple burnt alive in a brick kiln in November 2014.» 

«This episode shows the hatred that circulates in society,» he said, noting, «We need to work more on dialogue and harmony among believers of different religions,» he said.

Fr. Channan, who heads the «Peace Center» in Lahore, which promotes initiatives of peace, harmony, reconciliation, inter-religious dialogue, said: «I would say that today we are in the worst period in history for the life of Christians in Pakistan. Discrimination, suffering, oppression often become real persecution.”

«Today we ask the government,» he appealed, «Where is justice? Where are the perpetrators of many incidents of gratuitous violence committed against Christians?» (D.C.L.)

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