They Cry in Silence Mar/Apr 2006
In October 2001 we reported on a terrible massacre of Christians in Pakistan. It was Sunday morning, and a congregation of some 100 believers was meeting for worship. Suddenly four radical Islamists rode up on motorcycles, ran into the church, locked the doors, and began firing indiscriminately into the congregation. Worshipers who tried to flee or seek safety under pews were gunned down. Eighteen people, including the pastor, were killed and a number seriously wounded.
Although the president of Pakistan was reportedly deeply saddened by the slaughter, things have not improved for Christians in that country.
A short time ago, an urgent email arrived at The Friends of Israel headquarters. It was sent by a freelance Pakistani journalist. This is what he wrote:
I am a regular reader of your magazine, Israel My Glory….This magazine has changed my perception of the Jewish people. I am a Christian citizen of Pakistan. Here media, literature, and curriculum always show a negative image of the Jews. Even the church does not pay attention to counter these negative perceptions, at least in the Christian community. But I think your magazine is doing a wonderful job.
Along with the email, the journalist sent a report of what is happening to the Christian community under Pakistani blasphemy laws.
The violence broke out when Muslim preachers urged people to “take revenge” after a Christian allegedly burned pages of the Qur’an.
The mob, estimated to number between two and three thousand, struck at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, destroying three churches, a convent, St. Anthony’s School, a girls hostel, a dozen houses, a dispensary, and a priest’s home. They burned Bibles, Christian literature, crosses and other Christian materials. Hundreds of Christians left the town as a crowd of thousands strong [radical Muslims] wielding axes and sticks entered the city.
This was a blatant act of religious terrorism. It was organized by an Islamist extremist group who had designs of destroying the Christian community. The police stood by and ignored pleas for help, meaning that they, too, are culprits in this conspiracy. The police claim they have arrested about 90 people for rioting, violence, and vandalizing Christian property.
Along with the report, the journalist sent pictures of a burned out church and school and a ruined dispensary.
We were asked to publish this information to make believers and officials in other countries aware of the terror that Pakistani brothers and sisters in Christ live with every day.
We are, of course, privileged to share this information with our readers in more than 150 countries. It is also being carried on our radio broadcasts that air on well over 700 outlets in the United States and abroad. The hope is that wide distribution of such information will stir Christians to pray and reach out to those who suffer in Pakistan and so many other countries of the world. Furthermore, perhaps other Christians under severe persecution will learn that they are not alone in their struggle to survive.
We feel deeply committed to ensuring that these saints and their families will not continue to be forced to cry in silence, but will know that there are thousands who care and share the burden of the threat of satanically inspired fanatics who wish to destroy us all.