By editor - 14 April, 2015
A 14 year old boy in Pakistan was set on fire and sustained burns to 55% of his body after he identified himself as a Christian.
Noman Masih was set alight by two men in Lahore in the Punjab province of Pakistan on 10 April.
Initial reports indicate that the child was in a market in Gulshan Ravi in the city of Lahore when he got into a conversation with two men who were on a motorbike.
They assaulted him and threw petrol on him and set him on fire when they found out that he was Christian.
He is said to be in critical condition.
Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, has called for the perpetrators to be arrested.
Responding to the incident, Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said, “Our thoughts are with Noman Masih and his family as we pray for his recovery.”
He continued, “That this deplorable attack on a child was triggered by a simple profession of faith is deeply worrying.”
“CSW urges the Pakistani Government to ensure that the perpetrators of this attack are apprehended and that the right to freedom of religion or belief, guaranteed in international treaties to which Pakistan is party, is upheld.”
He added that a “culture of impunity must end if religious minorities are to be guaranteed their rights as citizens in Pakistan”.
In a note sent to Fides, Nasir Saeed, director of the NGO CLAAS (Center for legal aid assistance and settlement) warned, “We are in a deplorable situation. Hatred against Christians has reached a very dangerous level if an innocent Christian can be burned to death by Islamic extremists without any reason.”
He added that Christians in Pakistan live under constant fear for their lives, despite the assurances of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.