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     Home > Religion and Dialogue  >  2013-11-04 15:56:53
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Two Christian families in Pakistan falsely accused of blasphemy

November 04, 2013 - Two Pakistani Christians and their families are fleeing for their lives after being accused falsely of blasphemy against the Koran. Arif Masih and Tariq Masih, owners of a store where they sell fireworks in Thatta Faqirullah, near Wazirabad in Punjab Province, proclaim their innocence and fear for their lives. On October 27 they sold Muhammad Zahid a set of fireworks for his wedding party. Some of the fireworks that failed were allegedly wrapped with pages containing verses from Islam’s holy book, the Koran. The newlyweds and their guests immediately destroyed the store of both Christians and denounced the two to the police, threatening to hunt and kill them if they were not arrested. Tariq told AsiaNews they are retailers and not manufacturers, and that the fireworks are made in a factory near Gujranwala owned by Muslims where no Christians are employed. Fearing for their lives, both the Christian families have since fled the area. Pakistan’s controversial Blasphemy Laws, which punish with death or life imprisonment those who desecrate the name of Muhammad or profane the Koran, are often abused to target members of minority communities, rivals and opponents, to settle personal scores. Last month a Christian was beheaded in Karachi, accused of blasphemy, for reasons related to professional rivalry. (Source: AsiaNews)


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