Tuesday, November 22, 2011

PAKISTAN – Evangelist shot dead by suspected extremists

The family of an evangelist shot dead in Karachi say they believe he was killed for his faith.

According to Release's partner Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan (SLMP), the family is reluctant to pursue the case with police because of fears for their own safety.

Jameel Saawan was killed by an unidentified gunman as he opened up his cosmetics shop in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal of the city's commercial district on the
morning of November 16. The gunman fled on a waiting motorbike.

One of Jameel's sons, Zahid, told Compass Direct news agency that his father was well known locally for sharing the Gospel with local Muslims, which he did every day after work. He was also widely respected as a vocal supporter of the Christian community. He had reportedly received threats after speaking of plans to set up a welfare organisation for poor Christians in Karachi two years ago. 'We firmly believe that my father was killed because of his preaching of the Bible, because there is no other reason,' Zahid said.

SLMP is also requesting prayer for a Christian housemaid, Shamim Bibi, 16, who has been accused of stealing a gold ornament from her wealthy employer's house in Lahore – an allegation she denies. Shamim's employer pressurised the police to arrest her but after an investigation they declared her innocent and released her. However, the initial report against her remains active and unless it is officially cancelled by the police she can still be arrested.

For more news and a country profile about Pakistan, click here

A Christian pastor in Indian Kashmir summoned to appear before a Sharia or Islamic law court for alleged 'forced conversions' has now been arrested by
police. Pastor Chander Mani Khanna from Srinagar had had the summons from a local Muslim mufti (religious leader) to answer allegations of converting Muslim children by offering bribes (Prayer Alert, November 18). Pastor Khanna apparently attended the Sharia court where YouTube footage of a baptism he had conducted was presented as evidence of 'forced conversions'. Much to local Christians' dismay, he was then arrested by police on suspicion of 'promoting enmity' between different religious groups and of 'acts intended to outrage religious feelings'. Kashmir does not have anti-conversion laws.

(Sources: AsiaNews, Compass Direct, Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan)

• Ask God to bless and comfort Jameel Saawan's wife and children. Pray that that all those who have heard the Gospel through Jameel will reflect on his life and death and come to know God's love for themselves.
• Pray for justice for Shamim Bibi: her accuser is powerful and influential.
• Pray God's wisdom and protection for Pastor Khanna, his family and local Christians.

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