PAKISTAN – On June 21, 16 Christians were abducted by Muslim extremists when they gathered to pray in Academy Town, Peshawar, Pakistan.
According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Pakistan, “Salamat Masih and 30 of his family and close friends were gathered to pray and celebrate the birth of his daughter, when 12 Taliban [members] of the Lashka-e-Islam group broke into his house yelling and shouting. They held the believers at gunpoint. The Muslim house-owner, Haji Muhammad Saraj, was also present at the time to collect rent.”
VOM contacts added, “With machine and automatic guns, they forcibly separated the men from the women and children. Slapping the Christian men, they commanded all 16men, including Pastor Zulifqar and Haji Muhammad Saraj, to get into the five waiting vehicles.”
The 16 Christian men were held captive for an hour. “They were beaten and abused, and had all their money and mobile phones stolen from them. During this time, the Taliban attempted to persuade Pastor Zulifqar to convert to Islam, which he unquestionably refused. After sunset the Taliban took them to another place where they were kept in a cave until their release 10 hours later,” VOM contacts reported.
There are 100 Christian families living in Academy Town, in an area that was formally a madrassa (Muslim school). VOM contacts added, “A local Muslim renovated the madrassa into smaller homes and rented them out to Christians. Three months ago, and then, again, a week prior to this incident, Haji Muhammad Saraj was confronted by the Islamic fundamentalist group Lashkar-e-Islam and received a verbal notice to evict all Christian families from the homes. Magal Baz, the leader of the terrorist group stated, ‘Christians should not reside, pray, or celebrate in a place that was formerly a madrassa.'”
The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for believers in Pakistan. Pray God protects them and provides for all their needs. Also pray their courageous testimonies will draw non- believers into fellowship with Him.