LAHORE, Pakistan — Three times in three weeks this summer, Christians were accused of blaspheming Islam, leading other Christians to flee their homes in Pakistan for fear of retribution.
According to Morning Star News, the latest occurrence was July 16. Announcements from a mosque called for protests because alleged posters defaming Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and his wife were put on the mosque walls.
Muslims and some Islamic extremists blocked the Sargodha-Faisalabad highway and threatened vengeance if the suspect was not apprehended within 48 hours.
Fearing escalation, about half the Christian families in the area fled, a source said.
Police charged an unknown offender.
A district human rights committee member told Morning Star that 15 Christian males from Maryam Town also were taken into custody. Most were later released.
The other two incidents occurred June 30 in Chak 49 Shumaali village and July 8 in Chak 98 Shumaali village. Haroon Shahzad, a Christian, was charged in the first case for posting Bible verses on Facebook. Zaki Masih, also a Christian, was charged in the second case with insulting Islam.
Pakistan in No. 7 on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.