A Pakistani Christian man was brutally murdered last week by Muslim drug dealers, a local Christian organization announced.
Nazeer Masih, 55, was reportedly attacked while working in a field outside the his home village of Wandala Dayal Shah.
People from the Pakistani Christian community leave a local church after attending Christmas mass, under security, in Islamabad, Pakistan. Security has been tightened to avoid any act of terrorism around churches in the capital and other cities. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, the attack occurred shortly after Masih warned some Muslim drug dealers to stop recruiting young Christians to participate in the sale and consumption of drugs.
Masih was cutting grass with a Muslim friend when the two got into an altercation with two suspects, who cut Masih's face and sliced open his throat. The dealers also attacked Masih’s Muslim friend, but his injuries were not fatal.
“This is not the first incident of persecution of Christians in our village, local Muslims are always creating problems for our Christian community,” local pastor Alfred Azam told BPCA. “Before and after our church services Muslim drug dealers swarm around our church trying to sell drugs to our vulnerable youth.”
According to Azam, it is common for drug pushers to hang around predominately Christian neighborhoods. They have been known to beat young Christians and force them to take drugs in the hope that they will become dependent.
“When our older men tell these criminals to leave our young people alone they get killed," he said.
Masih left behind a wife, Rasheed Bibi, and a son, Patris Masih.
Patris, 35, told BPCA he was “utterly horrified by the brutality of the savage attack” on his father, an event that left him “heartbroken and traumatized.”
Patris was one of the first to respond to the scene of the attack, but by the time he and other locals reached Masih, he had died.
Villagers who witnessed the altercation called police and named the two Muslim men responsible for the murderer, but police officials reportedly refused to register a report for the crime or take any action whatsoever.
BPCA Wilson Chowdhry said the case is just the latest example of the lack of protection for Christians in Pakistan.
People try to comfort a Pakistani Christian mother during the funeral of her two daughters, killed in a suicide bombing Sunday, in Lahore, Pakistan, March 30. The massive suicide bombing by a breakaway Taliban faction targeted Christians gathered for Easter Sunday in a park in Lahore, killing more than 70 people. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
"Often Pakistani Christian asylum applications to the U.K. are denied on the basis that Christians are offered a police service and have a judicial system set up to protect them,” Chowdhry said. “Yet in this case, once again we have evidence of a corrupt and poorly administered rule of law that is biased against the deprived Christian community.”
He added that drug addiction is a “rising concern” in Pakistani Christian communities, as youths are recruited by wealthy Muslim drug lords, who often have more power than local police authorities, making them virtually unstoppable.
The BPCA has set up a donations appeal to help Masih's family pay for legal fees, funeral costs and trauma counseling.
Pakistani Christian have suffered many violent attacks this year, including the Easter Sunday suicide bombing that occurred at a park in Lahore. The terror attack, which specifically targeted Christians, left 73 people dead, the majority of them women and children.
Jamaat-ul-Ahra, the radical Islamic terror group responsible for the attack, vowed to bring more destruction in the future.