Two Murdered in Pakistan by Peter Riddell

Two Murdered in Pakistan

by Peter Riddell

On July 19, 2010, two Christian brothers accused of distributing blasphemous material were gunned down on the premises of the sessions court in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Rashid Emmanuel, a 36-year-old pastor, and Sajid Masih Emmanuel, 30, had been running United Ministries Pakistan for the last two years in the Christian community of Dawood Nagar. Their murder represents the latest episode in the ongoing troubles of Pakistani
Christians.

A member of a shadowy Islamist group reportedly told police that the two had distributed blasphemous leaflets in a city bus stand. Rashid Emmanuel agreed to meet an anonymous caller, only to find himself surrounded by police carrying photocopied papers denigrating the prophet Mohammad and purportedly bearing the signatures and phone numbers of the two brothers. They were taken into police custody on July 2 and charged with blasphemy under Section 295-c of the Pakistan Penal Code.

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Peter Riddell is Vice Principal-Academic at the Melbourne School of Theology in Australia, and a Senior Fellow of Kairos Journal.

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