Nauman Masih, a 15-year-old Pakistani Christian boy, has died in hospital after being set on fire by a group of young Muslims after they discovered he was a Christian.
Before he died, Nauman Masih told police that two men had approached him and asked him about his religion. When he said he was a Christian, they beat him, and when he tried to run away they followed him, threw kerosene over him and set him on fire.
The attackers were masked when the incident took place, making it unlikely that they will be caught, and authorities have shown little interest in pursuing the case.
The young man was training to be a tailor, and was on his way to the tailor’s shop when the attack took place. The attackers started insulting his mother and sister, and Nauman fought back in defence, before the kerosene was poured over him. He put out the flames by rolling in the sand on the ground.
Nauman reportedly said: “I was running when a heap of sand came my way, I lay down on the sand, and a few people from the community put out the fire by putting sand on me. I became unconscious, and they called the emergency medical helpline and called [for] an ambulance.”
There were conflicting reports about who might be responsible, but the investigating officer told the Express Tribune that the boy’s grandfather had blamed Nauman’s uncle for planning the attack.
The incident comes less than a month after suicide bombings by the Pakistani Taliban at two churches in Lahore left 14 people dead and 78 wounded. This attack led to widespread protests in the region calling for better protection for Pakistan’s Christians.
- Pray for the family of Nauman Masih, as they grieve. Pray they will find comfort in their faith and in the loving arms of God.
- Pray that they perpetrators of such incidents will be brought to justice.
- Pray for authorities in Pakistan to protect Christians and for an end to the growing violence against Pakistan’s Christians.
- Pray for the Pakistan Church to be strong in it’s faith and witness to the Truth of the Gospel, even in the face of growing opposition. Pray that many in Pakistan will come to know the reality of life and faith in Jesus.
Matthew 5 vs 44: “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”