Pakistan Christians Flee Homes After Blasphemy Accusations

Source:  www.bosnewslife.com

Date:  December 2, 2017

By BosNewsLife Asia Service



ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)-- Five Christian families have been forced to leave their village in Pakistan's Punjab province after a Christian teenager was accused of “blasphemy” against Islam on social media, Christians told BosNewsLife.

Sonu Arshad, an 18-year-old from the village of Sukheki, was accused on a Facebook website page designed to resemble a news channel, Christians said.

The page displayed a picture of Arshad and urged local Muslims to “burn his church and give him the death penalty.”

On November 10, after news of the “blasphemy” accusation spread, an angry Muslim mob reportedly gathered in the village following Friday prayers.

FAMILIES HIDING 

Although police intervened, Sonu’s family and four others fled, fearing for their safety, activists told BosNewsLife.

The Pakistan-based charity Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance, and Settlement (CLAAS) said it received reports that the families "went into hiding."

Pakistan's government has come under international pressure to change controversial blasphemy laws that critics say have been used to settle personal disputes and to accuse people, including minority Christians, falsely.

Police reportedly launched an investigation into who set up the Facebook page accusing the teenager, but it was not immediately clear when or if arrests were made.

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