www.barnabasfund.org Brothers Rashid Emmanuel (30), a pastor, and Sajid Emmanuel (27), a graduate student, were shot dead on 19 July as they left the court house in Faisalabad where they had appeared in connection with charges of “blasphemy”. The brothers had been detained earlier in the month, accused of producing a handwritten pamphlet defiling Muhammad, but a report from a handwriting expert found that the writing on the pamphlet did not match that of either of the accused.
Following their murder, local Christians took to the streets in protest over the incident, prompting calls from mosques for Muslims to come out to “fight rampaging” Christians. Shops were looted, and vehicles and homes were vandalised in the Emmanuel brothers’ neighbourhood of Daud Nagar, with at least ten people reported injured.
A mob of thousands of Muslim protestors in the majority-Christian part of Faisalabad where the brothers lived had demanded the death sentence for them on 10 and 11 July, forcing many families to flee for their safety. But rumours spread on 18 July that the brothers would be found innocent and released.
- Pray for the Emmanuel family, especially Rashid’s wife of just seven months, as they grieve the shocking deaths of the two brothers.
- Pray that the Lord will protect believers in Faisalabad in this latest wave of anti-Christian violence and that, in light of this tragedy, the Pakistan government will come under further pressure to repeal the blasphemy law.
- For the gunmen to be brought to justice and for peace between the Muslim and Christian communities.