Christians are in threatening letters urged to convert to Islam, pay Islamic tax or leave the country. If they refuse "they should be killed, their property and homes burned to ashes and their women treated as sex slaves. And they must themselves bear the responsibility."
Sargodha, PAKISTAN (ANS) Saturday, October 17th, 2009 - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that members of the Talibans in Sargodha, Pakistan, October 6 sent a threatening letter in which Christian leaders are invited under threat of dire consequences, to convert to Islam.
In a copy of the letter, obtained through the ICC, Christians are asked, under threat, to convert Islam, pay Jizya tax (an Islamic tax for religious minorities) or leave the country. If the Christians refuse to accept the options offered to them explaining the message that they "should be killed, their property and homes burned to ashes and their women treated as sex slaves. And they bear the responsibility for this."
Zaheer Khan, the pastor of Memorial Church of Maghoo, Aamir Azeem, pastor of United Christian Church and Zafar Akhter, pastor of United Presbyterian Church have each received a copy of the threatening letter. "The Islamists sent letters to the following Christian institutions: St. Peter's Middle School, Sargodha Institute of Technology, Sargodha Catholic High School, St John's Primary School and The Fatima Hospital," said a spokesman of the ICC.
- In addition to the Christian institutions, the letter has also been sent to the main Immam-Bar-Ghana (Shiite Muslim assembly hall). The Shiites are a minority among Muslims in Pakistan where the majority of the population are Sunni Muslims.
ICC Jonathan Racho says that "Christians in Pakistan are "soft targets" for attacks by Muslim extremists. Only in the last four months 12 Christians have been murdered by Muslims because of their faith. We are concerned about the increasing number of attacks against Christians in Pakistan. We urge the Pakistani officials to take threatening letters seriously and take measures to protect Christians and their institutions from attacks".
Source: ASSIST Ministries
Footnote: ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization helping persecuted Christians worldwide (www.persecution.org). ICC aims to provide information, advocacy and support to the worldwide persecuted Church.