Five members of a Christian family in northeast Pakistan were attacked and injured as they helped to build a wall around their church on Sunday, March 4th. As church members were inside praying, George Masih, 70, was overseeing the construction of the building project which took place in the village of Yousufwala.
Twenty men, armed with clubs and axes, approached and began beating George and others at the site. His two sons, Babar and William, daughter Nasreen, and daughter-in-law Jamila were also injured. The attackers demanded that the construction stop, claiming the land belongs to them. It is believed the perpetrators were linked to a local landlord.
Three years prior, church members had gained legal permission to build on the land, including the boundary wall. Aware of potential problems, they had previously requested police protection during the construction, but it was denied. Following the attack, the wall was completed under police supervision.
Authorities have advised the church to not file charges against the attackers, since such action could increase tensions between Christians and Muslims in the area. The family has further been threatened with charges of blasphemy if they proceed with legal action. Accusations of blasphemy are commonly used against Christians to force compliance in disputes. The most famous example is Asia Bibi. For more details, click here.
Please remember this family in your prayers as they recover from their injuries. Pray that the church members will be a testimony of the love and grace of God to others around them, including those involved in this attack.